Breaking News
0

Northern Irish kingmakers tell PM May: Don't betray the United Kingdom

WorldNov 09, 2018 05:38AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London

By Guy Faulconbridge and Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) - The Northern Irish party which props up Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Friday cast her Brexit negotiation as a betrayal and cautioned it could not support a deal that divided the United Kingdom.

The warning underscores the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95 percent done, approved by both her fractious party and by the Northern Irish lawmakers who keep her in power.

Less than five months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, negotiators are still haggling over a backup plan for the land border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland should they fail to clinch a deal.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) interpreted a promise made by May in a letter that she would never let a division of the UK "to come into force" as an admission that such a clause would be included in a final deal, the Times reported.

"The prime minister's letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the United Kingdom," DUP leader Arlene Foster said.

"From her letter, it appears the prime minister is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with Northern Ireland in the EU single market regulatory regime," Foster said.

The DUP has torpedoed Brexit talks before.

Nearly a year ago, its refusal to sign off on a deal on the border caused the temporary collapse of Brexit talks at a crucial stage. Negotiators later found a way to keep all sides on board.

The Brexit deal - or the lack of one - will shape Britain's prosperity for generations to come and have long-term consequences for the European Union's global clout.

Both sides need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world's biggest trading bloc and the fifth largest global economy. The other 27 members of the EU combined have about five times the economic might of Britain.

Britain's junior Brexit minister told a German media outlet he was optimistic there would be a deal soon.

"ALARM BELLS"

Ever since May triggered formal divorce talks in March 2017, negotiators have struggled to find a solution to the 310-mile land border on the island of Ireland.

Both sides want to avoid customs posts that some fear could reignite the violence in Northern Ireland that was ended by a U.S.-brokered peace accord in 1998.

Under discussion is a fallback option for the border. London argues that the whole of the United Kingdoms should stay inside a temporary customs arrangement with the EU, though it is unclear for how long and what would happen after exiting that.

The EU has insisted on a insurance policy - or a backstop to the backstop - a demand London signs a treaty clause that could leave Northern Ireland inside the EU customs space.

That is unacceptable for May's "Unionist" supporters whose entire political ideology is based on defense of Northern Ireland's place within the United Kingdom.

"We will not support arrangements that leave Northern Ireland separated from the rest of the United Kingdom and tied to the European Union's customs or regulatory regimes," Foster said in a letter to May which was published on Friday.

She added that any backstop could not leave Northern Ireland aligned to specific sectoral EU market regulations. And any backstop would have to have a clear expiry date.

If May can clinch a deal with the EU, she still needs to get that deal approved by parliament. But it is unclear if she has the numbers: Around 320 votes in the House of Commons are needed to be certain of winning a vote.

Ever since her botched gamble on a snap election in 2017 lost her party its majority in parliament, May has relied on the DUP to govern.

May's Conservative Party has 315 lawmakers. It relies on the 10 DUP lawmakers to pass legislation.

"The PM knows the consequences, she now needs to reconsider," DUP lawmaker Sammy Wilson said.

Northern Irish kingmakers tell PM May: Don't betray the United Kingdom
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email