Tuesday 15 October 2019

DUP won't let North be trapped, says Foster

Response: DUP’s Arlene Foster said Mr Johnson knew where it stood. Photo: David Young/PA
Response: DUP’s Arlene Foster said Mr Johnson knew where it stood. Photo: David Young/PA

David Young

Any Brexit deal that traps Northern Ireland in EU structures will not get DUP support, Arlene Foster has warned.

The DUP leader said her party would only back a withdrawal agreement that was in Northern Ireland's "long-term economic and constitutional interests".

Ms Foster acknowledged there had been a lot of speculation as to what had happened during British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in England.

The positive read out from Thursday's encounter, followed by the intensification of UK and EU negotiations, has prompted suggestions both sides could be poised to make compromises on customs arrangements, to avoid border checks on the island of Ireland.

Responding to the developments, Ms Foster said Mr Johnson was aware of the DUP view that the UK had to leave the EU as one nation.

She made clear her party would exercise its "considerable influence" in the Parliament.

"We are regularly in touch with the prime minister and as a result he is aware of our views," she said.

"The United Kingdom EU referendum result delivered the people's verdict and it must be delivered. To do otherwise would be anti-democratic.

"We have been consistent in our opposition to the backstop, whether UK or NI only, and anything that traps Northern Ireland in the European Union, whether single market or customs union, as the rest of the United Kingdom leaves will not have our support.

"The prime minister is very mindful of that."

Irish Independent

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