Irish party accuses Mae of violating the procedures Brexit

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2018

Meanwhile, Mrs May faced a fresh Brexit headache as her plans risked a rift with her Democratic Unionist Party allies.

According to the Times, May wrote to the leaders of the small Northern Irish political party she relies on to govern, saying that the European Union is still pushing for a so-called "backstop to the backstop" which would keep the province in regulatory alignment with the Republic of Ireland to avoid a hard border.

Hopes of an imminent breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations have so far failed to be met.

The response of the DUP has caused frustration in Downing Street, with sources insisting that Mrs May was not hiding behind "weasel words" and had stressed that she would not accept a deal which saw Northern Ireland hived off.

"The government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland", he added.

Ms Foster said the British government appeared "wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea" despite Downing Street's assurances to the contrary. But Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley will attend the event.

A leaked letter from the Prime Minister in reply to an earlier message from Mrs Foster and her deputy, Nigel Dodds, set out Mrs May's approach.

The prime minister has been pushing to agree a UK-wide backstop arrangement, which would see the whole United Kingdom remain in an effective customs union with the EU, after rejecting Brussels' proposal of a Northern Ireland-only solution.

The EU has insisted on a Northern Ireland-only "backstop to the backstop" in case negotiations on a wider United Kingdom approach break down.

May's letter to the DUP said that she "could not accept there being any circumstances or conditions" for the Northern Ireland-only backstop coming into effect.

But she acknowledged that the "unique circumstances" of Northern Ireland "could require specific alignment solutions in some scenarios" on regulations.

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said the British government needed to honour its commitments to avoid a hard border rather than promises made to the DUP.

A senior DUP MP has accused Theresa May of a "total betrayal" amid suggestions a plan for a customs border down the Irish Sea could yet be included in a Brexit divorce deal.

In extracts published by The Times, the prime minister's letter refers to European Union demands for the proposed Brexit backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said "we want to trust the Prime Minister" but "you have to judge any promise by what is actually delivered in an agreement".

However, while the European Union is willing to include a UK-wide backstop, it is adamant that the Northern Ireland-only backstop must be included too, to ensure the status quo in Ireland is maintained in all circumstances.

The Dup claim that according to the letter of the Prime Minister may, she is preparing to break the promise before the party, worrying that it would vote against the deal on Brexit in Parliament.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council summit on the Isle of Man, Mr Varadkar said he was hopeful a Brexit deal could be done by the end of the year but it would not amount to a "clean break" as talks would have to continue.

"Frankly, it's because that would be to then fail to fulfil on the will of the people expressed at the referendum and I very much doubt we'd get it through Parliament".

He also cautioned that a successful outcome was not guaranteed adding that a lot could still go wrong and that any agreement would have to be ratified by Britain and the EU.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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