Theresa May verging closer to Brexit deal but is facing cabinet resignations

  • Theresa May verging closer to Brexit deal but is facing cabinet resignations

Theresa May verging closer to Brexit deal but is facing cabinet resignations

May has ruled out any agreement which could see customs or regulatory barriers being erected between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

"The only visible systematic checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom would involve scanning the bar codes on lorries or containers, which should be done on ferries or in transit ports".

Staying in a customs union would stop Britain from negotiating new trade deals.

Theresa May's ministers are threatening to walk out of her government over her reported plans to keep Britain potentially tied to a customs union with the EU permanently after Brexit.

Blair also condemned former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, slamming his anti-EU arguments, exposing them as false.

The rebate, negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, sees a 66% reduction applied to the UK's net contribution to the European Union budget.

Ms Foster's remarks came after the party had earlier made clear that it would be prepared to vote against the budget and other legislation if Mrs May crossed its "red lines".

Writing in the Telegraph, Sammy Wilson MP, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, said Mrs May was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop.

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, noting how the PM was also a Unionist, said: "What is important for us is to say to her very clearly that any impediment on the two-way access in the United Kingdom single market would not be good for the Union or the economy of Northern Ireland".

"Quite simply, there has to be open trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that has to be the basis of any agreement", he said.

Talk of a draft deal having been agreed in Brussels on the Irish backstop was rubbished by Whitehall insiders, who urged caution.

Barnier said Brexit would trigger the need for customs, Value-Added Tax and compliance checks with EU standards between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event that a planned "backstop" were triggered because a future EU-UK trade deal was not sufficient in itself to ensure the land frontier was not a "hard border".

The warning from the DUP comes as former British prime minister Sir John Major said Theresa May is being "bullied" by Tory Brexiteers.

The DUP has threatened to withdraw its support for the government if it is not happy with the final Brexit deal.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of Brexiteer MPs, said: "It is worth remembering that income tax was introduced as a temporary measure".

Speaking to Northern Ireland journalists at her Downing Street office, May said on Thursday that talks on the Irish backstop were likely to continue until November.

As he left, Tory chief whip Julian Smith said: "The Prime Minister and the Government are conducting a complex negotiation that is going well and we should be backing the Prime Minister". "That is why we are interested in maximising an orderly withdrawal and minimising the cost of withdrawal".