09/11/2018

DUP: Theresa May's Brexit Letter Raises Alarm Bells

Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of breaking her promise to the DUP that she would never sign up to a Brexit deal that separated Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

The comments follow a leaked letter, obtained by The Times, written by Mrs May to DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy Nigel Dodds, which indicated that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Northern Ireland would be separated from the rest of the UK by a customs border in the Irish Sea.

"The letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious Union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the UK," Mrs Foster told The Times.

"It appears the Prime Minister is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with Northern Ireland in the EU single market regulatory regime."
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Mrs May had previously assured the Democratic Unionists that she would never sign up to a Brexit deal that could potentially create barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The issue was one of the 'red lines' that Mrs Foster had warned the Prime Minister not to cross if she wanted MPs to continue to support the Conservatives in Westminster as part of their confidence and supply deal.

The leaked letter also suggests that the whole of the UK could remain closely linked with the EU, as the Government does "not expect regulations to diverge between Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

A spokesperson at Downing Street told The Times that the Prime Minister would not agree to any deal that separates Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

"The Prime Minister's letter sets out her commitment, which she has been absolutely clear about on any number of occasions, to never accepting any circumstances in which the UK is divided into two customs territories. The Government will not agree to anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland."



(JG)

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