Brexit negotiators 'have no business interfering', says DUP's Sammy Wilson
DUP MP Sammy Wilson has said the Government and EU's commitment to the Good Friday Agreement will be "put to the test" as it's thought a Brexit agreement can be reached by Wednesday night.
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It comes as Boris Johnson’s prospects of securing a Brexit deal hang in the balance. The DUP have met with him for a third round of talks in three days.
After the latest meeting DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds was asked if he was happy with the outcome of talks.
"I'm always happy," replied Mr Dodds.
Mr Wilson, the party's Brexit spokesman, said on Twitter that cross-community consent is required for all controversial issues passing through the Assembly and that negotiators from the UK and EU have "no business interfering".
Earlier Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is confident an agreement can be reached by Wednesday night.
Mr Varadkar said he had spoken to Boris Johnson earlier that morning and he is optimistic progress is being made and that a deal could be ratified at the European Council summit on Thursday or Friday.
A lot of things have changed in the last three years, many twists and turns, but what’s never changed is our objectives Leo Varadkar
"There is a pathway to a possible deal but there are many issues that still need to be resolved, particularly around the consent mechanism and issues around customs and VAT,” he said.
"I spoke with the Prime Minister this morning by phone and the European Commission and I do think we are making progress but there are issues that need to be resolved and hopefully that can be done today, allowing us to ratify it at the European Council tomorrow, and allowing the House of Commons to give its view on it on Saturday, but if it’s not there is still more time.
"The 31st of October is still a few weeks away and there is a possibility of another summit before that if we need one.
🚨 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke to Boris Johnson this morning, and is hopeful for an agreement today, that can be voted on at EU Summit this week, and House of Commons can have their say on Saturday. He adds outstanding issues are on consent, customs and VAT. 🚨 pic.twitter.com/EUtYc30wSG— aoife-grace moore. (@aoifegracemoore) October 16, 2019
"Our objectives are simple ones, avoiding a hard border between north and south, ensuring the all-island economy will continue to thrive and prosper, for north-south cooperation to resume, as envisaged in the Good Friday Agreement, and protect the integrity of the single market.
"Although time is running short I am confident these objectives can be achieved.
"In the mean time, we must continue to make our plans and prepare for no deal, because we have to prepare for the worst case scenario no matter what.”
Mr Varadkar will travel to Brussels for the EU summit on Thursday, where negotiators are currently in the “tunnel” stage of negotiations.
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