Around 30 Labour MPs willing to vote for Theresa May’s Brexit deal

10 October, 2018, 22:13 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker attend the European Union leaders informal summit in Salzburg Austria

DUP leader Arlene Foster insisted on Tuesday that her party would not accept customs or regulatory checks on goods travelling in either direction between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after meeting European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels.

The party's 10 MPs have propped up the Tory government since May lost her Commons majority in the snap general election past year.

The Government is well aware of our position on this issue.

Brexit negotiators are working "day and night" to try to reach a deal, the EU's Michel Barnier has said.

In Westminster, the Prime Minister urged MPs to do their "duty" to implement the result of the Brexit referendum as she struggled to maintain discipline within the Tory ranks.

It highlights how Theresa May's "precious Union" has little meaningful support among the British prime minister's own supporters or those in other parties who regard themselves as unionist.

Eurosceptic Tories claim dozens of Conservatives are also prepared to vote against a Chequers-style deal.

The former Brexit Secretary has written to his colleagues predicting a "dire" result for the Conservatives unless the Prime Minister ditches her so-called Chequers proposal, which would see the United Kingdom follow Brussels' rules on goods and agri-foods.


The European Union is doing all it can to ensure checks on goods moving across Northern Ireland's borders would be made "in the least intrusive way possible", for example on ferries, at ports or in factories of origin, he said.

- National Audit Office chief Sir Amyas Morse said it was "not impossible" that flights would be grounded if there was an "unfriendly" break-up with Brussels.

Both sides want to avoid a return to checkpoints on the Irish border as this would hinder trade and risk reigniting violence in the province two decades after a peace deal.

At his latest appearance in parliament, where divisions over how to leave the European Union were on display, Raab moved to downplay one of the thorniest parts of the talks - a so-called backstop arrangement to prevent the return of a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland. But he stressed: "Brexit was not our choice".

British security commissioner Julian King said: "There are some issues that will need to be addressed in the context of a future partnership, including on security".

Just minutes before the news broke that the DUP is considering voting down the budget, a Downing Street source was asked if Mrs May felt she could rely on DUP votes in parliament. 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.

But Mr Barnier's comments suggest there is still a long way to go before the crucial issues are settled.

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