Brexit: DUP accuses May of breaking promises on Irish border
Brexit: DUP accuses May of breaking promises on Irish border
Image Mr Wilson said the PM had gone back on 'the promises she made'
10 November, 2018, 06:40
The DUP MP Sammy Wilson heaped further pressure on the government, telling the BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the letter was sent to the party but was put into the public domain by Downing Street.
The response of the DUP has caused frustration in Downing Street, with sources insisting that Ms May was not hiding behind "weasel words" and had stressed that she would not accept a deal which saw Northern Ireland hived off.
This so-called "backstop to the backstop" would see Northern Ireland become wedded to the EU single market and customs union should London and Brussels fail to strike a permanent trade deal.
The plan emerged after Jo Johnson, a transport minister, resigned from the Government over Brexit and vowed to vote against Mrs May's deal in the House of Commons.
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.
Agreement on a Brexit deal with Brussels will create a "new dynamic" in Parliament which would help secure support for Theresa May's plans, a key ally of the British prime minister has claimed.
A leaked letter from Ms May to the DUP says the British prime minister wants a "backstop" measure which would create a temporary "joint customs territory" with the European Union for the whole of the UK.
"The EU.want to maintain a Northern Ireland only 'backstop to the backstop, ' in case the future negotiations are unsuccessful", May wrote in the letter.
While the Prime Minister said she would not allow the second backstop to "come into force", her letter failed to rule out it being a part of the finalised agreement.
The letter, seen by The Times of London, was in response to a letter sent by the DUP to May on 1 November and suggests the European Union is looking for a customs border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
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The party's Westminster leader, Mr Dodds, warned on Sky News: "I think the prime minister will hopefully realise what can be got through parliament and what can't".
Prime Minister May already has a challenge on her hands in getting a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement through Westminster this winter with a majority of Labour MPs and some Conservatives set to vote against it.
"There will be product on the table which all will have signed up to that will have involved compromises on all sides", he said.
"The time for DUP bluster, chest beating and hand wringing has long gone".
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