DUP steps up warning to May not to compromise on Border

Ivan Schwartz
October 12, 2018

As reported by the UK Telegraph, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is set to ask her cabinet to push through a customs union agreement on Brexit, as May's opponents threaten to tear down her government.

Britain's global trade, environment and Brexit ministers told Prime Minister Theresa May at a meeting on Thursday that they are concerned the whole of Britain could remain in the customs union for an open-ended period of time, the BBC said.

Scottish Minister David Mundell suggested the DUP would come around, saying the alternative was either a government led by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn or a Brexit next March without any deal at all.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a roundtable meeting with business leaders whose companies are inaugural signatories of the Race at Work Charter at the Southbank Centre in London, Britain, October 11, 2018.

EU Brexit pointman Michel Barnier and Martin Selmayr, the powerful head of the EU Commission's bureaucracy, briefed commissioners on progress just a week before the October 18 meeting that has been dubbed a "moment of truth".

Both sides have made positive signals in recent days though also indicated they were still short of a deal, which would define the divorce terms and include an European Union declaration stating that it would seek the closest possible ties with Britain after Brexit ranging from trade to security to research.

He said Mr Barnier's demands included "that we would stay as part of the single market, our laws in NI would be made in Brussels, not London, that we would not be able to be part of future United Kingdom trade deals, that the ECJ would make decisions about the rules and regulations in Northern Ireland".

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"However, Brussels also wants to place an effective one-way turnstile from Northern Ireland into the rest of the United Kingdom".

Earlier on Thursday, May told Northern Ireland journalists that Irish border talks would likely continue until November.

He added: "If they (the government) decide to cave in to the unreasonable and unnecessary demands which are being promoted by Brussels, then we will have to consider whether or not they have kept their side of the bargain".

By withdrawing its support, the DUP could make it hard for May to pass legislation through parliament, including the budget which will be voted on later this month.

While talks with Brussels have intensified since May emerged from her infighting Conservative party conference last week, there has been no breakthrough.

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

Barnier earlier in the day briefed European Union commissioners on the negotiations. Can all three ever be satisfied with the terms of a Brexit deal?

Other reports by GizPress

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