DUP threatens 'serious action' over Brexit

Roman Schwartz
October 11, 2018

Neither side has indicated there has been a deal on the Irish backstop.

But he made clear that the European Union envisages a deal involving new customs and regulatory checks on goods travelling from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland, including health and sanitary inspections for all animals and animal products arriving in ports like Larne and Belfast from the rest of the UK.

In what is being described as the "nuclear option", DUP MPs would refuse to vote with the Government should Mrs May agree a Brexit backstop that would treat Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the UK.

Wilson adds: "The road which the leaks and briefings is outlining is the road to parliamentary defeat for any deal the prime minister brings forward. Our position hasn't changed and we don't expect the Government will change its position".

With the support of the DUP, she commands a majority of only 13 lawmakers and needs to keep either her own party onside or attract votes from the main opposition Labour Party.

Under the Fixed-term Parliament Act, if Mrs May lost a no-confidence vote, an election would be held if no alternative government was confirmed by the Commons within two weeks.

Just over a week remains before the October 18 summit in Brussels which was initially pencilled in as the deadline for agreement on withdrawal.

For industrial goods, he said it could be done by "market surveillance authorities" in company premises but he added that checks on animals and animal-derived products would still have to take place on the border.

Barnier is attempting to negotiate such a deal, but time is running out and European Union leaders have made it clear that they expect Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with a way to unblock talks before next week.

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"There will be administrative procedures for goods travelling from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland which do not exist today".

There is also the issue of trade.

"My estimate is that there are at least 40 colleagues who are not going to accept a "half in, half out" Chequers deal or indeed a backstop that leaves us in the internal market and the customs union".

Barnier said he realised such checks were politically hard but this was the outcome of Britons voting to leave the EU.

Speaking about the agriculture bill vote, Mr Wilson told BBC News: "It was a way of reminding the government that while our vote wasn't important last night, it would be important some time in the future, and we would have no hesitation withholding it if we thought that was a necessary sanction to impose".

If the DUP does vote down the budget - which will be revealed by Chancellor Philip Hammond later this month - the chances of another early general election will crank up a few notches, as May's leadership would be in peril.

The Tory Brexiteers won't support her Chequers plan for leaving the European Union which could mean she relies on Labour to get Parliamentary approval for a deal, Steve Baker said. The prime minister is becoming increasingly isolated.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said that any border effectively being drawn in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Britain would be "catastrophic". "If she doesn't take our concerns on board, we will take the view that Theresa May is not the leader to take us through to a safe Brexit".

Figures in London and Brussels are increasingly confident that negotiators will be able to reach a final Brexit deal.

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