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UK Government planning Brexit extension to appease DUP

UK Government planning Brexit extension to appease DUP

The Northern Irish party that British Prime Minister Theresa May's government relies on for support says it will consider backing a vote of no-confidence if May agrees to European Union checks on goods entering the region post-Brexit.

At Westminster, Mrs May told MPs that it was "in the national interest" for MPs from all parties to back the deal she brought back from Brussels. It is understood that cabinet ministers Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt expressed concerns.

As key Cabinet members met in Downing Street, they were warned by DUP leader Arlene Foster that they could not in "good conscience" accept the proposals now on the table from the EU.

With the negotiations coming to a head, the central focus of the discussions is thought to have been the issue of the Northern Ireland "backstop" meant to ensure there is not return of a "hard border" with the Republic.

Less than six months before the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, there is little clarity about how the world's fifth largest economy and its preeminent worldwide financial center will trade with the EU after Brexit.

In a worrying development for May's government, one DUP source told Politico: "Right now, Labour's position is better for us than May's".

"I hope for progress and there is progress, but the devil is in the details, as they say", said Merkel, who was in The Hague for talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte .

British papers said at least two or three ministers could quit over May's concessions on terms for keeping the Irish border open after Britain leaves the European Union on March 29.




If the new proposals were adopted it would mean the whole of the United Kingdom would be locked into a prolonged exit period.

Arlene Foster's party, which is propping up the Conservative government, has threatened to vote against its budget on October 29 if there is any deal that treats Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the UK.

They have already sent warning shots by abstaining from an unimportant vote in the House of Commons earlier this week.

"I would advise them to hold firm against Brexit because either of these choices are unpalatable", he said at an event in London hosted by Reuters.

"It does appear possible there will be a breakthrough", he said.

Penny Mordaunt, the global development secretary, and Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, and Andrea Leadsom have the most significant concerns over the plans, although they did not attend last night's meeting.

He said: "She has declared herself to be a unionist, she has repeated that time and time again, she knows the consequences if she walks away from that promise, not just for Northern Ireland because of course she will open a Pandora's box in Scotland as well".

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