Arlene Foster signals DUP shift on Northern Ireland border issue

20 Septembre, 2019, 02:41 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

She made clear that her idea of an acceptable Northern Ireland-only solution was different to mooted proposals for a Northern Ireland-only backstop, which she said "would bring about customs [checks] between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that is unconstitutional and undemocratic".

Foster said she wanted to restore Northern Ireland's devolved power-sharing government, which collapsed nearly three years ago when Irish nationalists Sinn Fein withdrew, but added that its restoration was not a pre-requisite for a deal.

But she said the solution would recognise that Northern Ireland was unique and bespoke arrangements may be an option, something Sinn Fein have demanded since the referendum.

"I do recognise we have a very short period of time but I very much believe that if there is a determination, a willingness and a commitment, then we can find a way through", she said.

But many people say this could lead to food and medicine shortages, cause mayhem for planes flying to and from Europe, cause huge traffic queues across the south east of England and disrupt the UK's ports - especially Dover.

"What we want to see happening is a recognition that we are on an island".

Speaking in the Irish capital, she said her party was looking for a "sensible deal" and it never wanted to inflict no deal on the region.

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The opposition of Northern Ireland's largest party to the so-called "backstop" mechanism to ensure there is no physical barrier with EU-member Ireland after Britain leaves the bloc has proven a formidable obstacle to clinching a divorce deal.

"I don't think there's going to be a deal at the minute and if we leave with a hard Brexit, I think that agriculture will be decimated".

He said he supports the DUP on 90% of its policies but not Brexit.

A farmer who appeared in a DUP election broadcast has said he now regrets voting to leave the EU.

She said this could represent an "important step forward" and specifically referred to the British Irish council, which involves representatives of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, as "under-used".

The DUP is hoping a shift in its position will be met with a compromise by the European Union and Ireland. When Foster was asked why they hadn't met in recent months, she told reporters to ask Varadkar.

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