Esther McVey won't say if she backs PM's European Union trade plan

12 Octobre, 2018, 16:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Tony Blair

Democratic Unionist Party Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told Ireland's RTE radio on Thursday the party's 10 members of parliament would vote against the United Kingdom budget and would consider voting no-confidence in May if the British government crosses the DUP's red lines in Brexit talks.

The EU wants it to apply to Northern Ireland only, effectively keeping the country in the single market and customs union to avoid the need for customs checks.

Sammy Wilson, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, warned the PM was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop, branded a "sell-out".

Cabinet ministers briefed on Brexit talks said the issue of the Irish backstop was also close to being settled, the newpaper said.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the other big issue for the prime minister, who relies on the Northern Irish party's votes to give her a notional majority in parliament.

"I would advise them to hold firm against Brexit because either of these choices are unpalatable", he said at an event in London.

Mr Blair also said: "I am aware that it is always a good thing to blame me literally for everything".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday Mr Wilson said his party were willing to bring down Theresa May's government if she agreed to a Brexit deal separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

Suspicions remain among hardline Tory Brexiteers that Mrs May is heading for a compromise which could tie the United Kingdom to European Union customs arrangements indefinitely - something which Boris Johnson has warned would reduce the United Kingdom to a "permanent European Union colony".

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As he left, Tory chief whip Julian Smith said: "The Prime Minister and the Government are conducting a complex negotiation that is going well and we should be backing the Prime Minister".

"Our position is that this future economic relationship needs to be in place by the end of December 2021 at the latest".

However, TUV leader Jim Allister said it is "imperative" that Mrs Foster's party "stands its ground", adding: "My profound differences with the DUP are well known but on the seminal issue of Brexit it is imperative, both in the national interest and Northern Ireland's interest, that the flagitious European Union backstop - and the Government's flirtation with it - is thwarted".

And in a vote on the Agriculture Bill, it did not back the Conservatives in what DUP sources said was a "warning shot" for the government.

"For my perspective, to be blamed for Brexit when I neither supported the referendum or supported Brexit is a little bit tribal, unreasonable, I would say", he added. Many of her cabinet colleagues have assured me of their Unionism.

This, however, would raise the prospect of increased regulation checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Three ministers - Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom are said to have deep concerns about such a concession.

"If people are sitting in cabinet they either support the government's policy or they don't sit in cabinet", Sir John said.

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