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Brexit: Border in the Irish Sea a red line for DUP, says Arlene Foster

By Jonathan Bell

Arlene Foster has said any border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK after Brexit, is a red line for her party.

The DUP leader was speaking to business news organisation Bloomberg at the Conservative party conference. She said: "We don't like talking about red lines - but one of key elements of what we are trying to do after we leave the EU is to have no internal borders between Northern Ireland and parts of UK.

"That would be a red line for us, we can't have that and to be fair to the Prime Minister she had been clear that is not going to happen.

"There has been some talk around Europe but that is just not going to happen."

Mrs Foster said that 72% of Northern Ireland trade went to Britain, adding: "Therefore for us it is a very important issue."

The UK is to leave the EU in March 2019 and Theresa May has raised the possibility of a two-year transition period. Arlene Foster described that time frame as "sensible".

The Irish border, citizens' right and the divorce bill are the key issues in the Brexit talks between the EU and the UK. On Tuesday MEPs ruled there had not been “sufficient progress”  in the talks and the UK needed to provide a "unique effective and workable" solution on preventing a hardening of the border.

Meanwhile Nigel Dodds told an event at the Conservative party conference on Tuesday evening the DUP deal with the Conservatives was not temporary and would last the full parliament term.

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