DUP 'prepared to vote against Budget' if Brexit red lines breached

Clay Curtis
October 10, 2018

"Colleagues will not tolerate a half in, half out Brexit", Mr Baker, who served as a junior Brexit minister in Ms May's government until he resigned in protest at her Brexit proposals said.

The prime minister will hold an extended discussion on Brexit at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the eve of her trip to Brussels, where she hopes to outline a compromise deal on the Irish border.

The party would end its parliamentary support for the prime minister if she agrees a deal at next week's European Union summit that led to additional checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Theresa May relies on DUP support in key votes because she does not have a majority in the House of Commons.

Barnier said customs forms could be completed in advance online and the "only visible systematic checks" would involve scanning bar codes on lorries or containers on ferries or in ports. If they jump the gun at the Budget before the Withdrawal Bill votes later, they're playing very hard ball indeed - and before they can know exactly what's going on in Brussels.

A Brexit deal is "within reach" next week, European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday, even as he rammed home his insistence that Britain must accept possible checks on trade between its mainland and Northern Ireland.

The EU negotiator insisted "checks" would be needed between the United Kingdom and the bloc in future, and they could not happen between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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The issue of how to preserve an open border between European Union state Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland - Britain's only land frontier - after Brexit is the last remaining hurdle, with almost everything else in the withdrawal agreement agreed before Britain leaves next March.

"Michel Barnier and his team are working day and night to reach a deal, but we are not there yet", he said.

She added they should also remember that Parliament gave the British people the decision over Brexit, and following the 2016 referendum result "it is our duty to ensure that we leave".

The loss of the DUP, which won ten seats at the last election, would raise severe doubts about the government's ability to pass the Budget which is due to be delivered on 29 October.

The Labour leader is expected to whip his MPs to vote against the Brexit deal when it comes to Commons, whatever the shape of the agreement as it is unlikely to meet with the party's "six tests". But he stressed: "Brexit was not our choice".

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.

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