Northern Irish party threatens to topple Theresa May's United Kingdom government

12 Octobre, 2018, 02:01 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Arlene Foster DUP leader

Theresa May is facing the threat of Cabinet resignations after she accepted European Union demands that there will be no time limit on her controversial Brexit backstop plan.

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

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who has been in Brussels this week for talks with European Union officials, repeated her warning that she would not accept anything that threatened the integrity of the UK.

Writing in the Telegraph on Thursday, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said May's backstop proposal was part of a "road to parliamentary defeat for any deal which the Prime Minister brings forward". "Many of her cabinet colleagues have assured me of their unionism", she said.

"Therefore, they could not in good conscience recommend a deal which places a trade barrier on United Kingdom businesses".

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told the European commission president and other commissioners in a private meeting on Wednesday that the principles of an agreement on the Irish border are largely accepted by both sides.

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The British government and leading politicians in Northern Ireland insist they will not agree to a withdrawal treaty that foresees the possibility of Northern Ireland being kept inside the EU's economic area while the British mainland is not.

German economy minister Peter Altmaier said he is "convinced" a deal is possible after meeting worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox in Berlin on Thursday. "She said that the nationalist party supported remaining in the customs union and single market because it would give the north continued unfettered access to the EU market of around 500 million people and the British market of 67 million".

The DUP has threatened to vote against the government's budget if it goes ahead with the plan.

Former Conservative leader and Brexit supporter Iain Duncan Smith warned the prime minister she should "listen very carefully" to the DUP, which he said echoed many Tory concerns.

However Brexiteers - including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab - are insisting any arrangement which would see the United Kingdom effectively remain part of the customs union while negotiations over a free trade deal take place must be strictly time-limited - something the EU has been resisting.

Barnier told small business leaders that the talks were "continuing intensively this week, day and night, with the aim. of having a deal within reach, if we follow through to the end of this negotiations, on October 17".

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