Brexit: DUP says it will 'stand up for NI' in Brexit talks

Daniel Fowler
October 12, 2019

With the British Parliament and government both rejecting the withdrawal treaty negotiated by Theresa May, and the European Union rejecting a rehash of the treaty with some alternative arrangements for the customs border between EU member-state the Republic of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland put forward by Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom is now headed for a clean break with the bloc - or, if anti-Brexit MPs have their way, yet another Brexit delay.

Donald Tusk, the European Union council president, said on Friday he had told the prime minister to present his Brexit proposals to the European Union by next Thursday but added that "positive signals" were now emerging from London.

Downing Street is understood to have shared details of the proposed compromise privately with European Union negotiators, which paved the way for detailed formal talks to begin ahead of next week's meeting of European Union leaders.

He proposes Northern Ireland stay aligned to the EU's single market but remain in a separate UK-wide customs territory, envisaging customs but no regulatory checks on the frontier.

Barnier said he had a "constructive" meeting with Brexit secretary Steve Barclay in Brussels earlier on Friday, and said that both the European Union and United Kingdom would be "intensifying technical discussions" in the coming days.

In a statement on Friday, Mrs Foster said the party, whose support will be key to getting a Brexit deal through Parliament, would only back a deal that is in Northern Ireland's "long-term economic and constitutional interests".

The EU has agreed to "intensify" talks with the United Kingdom over the next few days.

Speaking to reporters Boris Johnson told reporters: 'I had a good conversation with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar yesterday and I think both of us can see a pathway to a deal, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal.

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Earlier this week, several senior European Union figures played down the chances of Brexit happening with a deal agreed to by both sides. "I have already said that the Brexit is like climbing a mountain and we need vigilance, determination and patience".

By mid-morning on Friday, the currency was up 0.8% on the day to $1.2537.

If significant progress is made in the coming days, it is possible they may agree to a short extension to the current October 31 deadline to get a deal done.

This would be a major breakthrough and a cause for celebration in Ireland and certain parts of the UK- already the pound has risen significantly against the dollar - but Mr Johnson is set for huge backlash from the DUP if has indeed agreed for Northern Ireland to be treated differently to the rest of the UK.

Following his "technical" discussion with Mr Barclay in Brussels, Mr Barnier told reporters: "Be patient".

Whilst sounding somewhat sceptical about what may or may not have been agreed by Prime Minister Johnson, Mrs.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, regions and sectors in Ireland which are more reliant on trade with Britain and which are more vulnerable to the imposition of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, particularly sectors such as agriculture, food and the broad SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) sector, are likely to be more adversely affected, he said.

Both sides say they don't want to place infrastructure on the frontier between Northern Ireland and Ireland, with the absence of a hard border seen as integral to the peace that followed decades of conflict. If it is time for the sake of time? "It has taken one year, even three years, and we don't really get it", she said.

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