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DUP 'never shown copy' of Brexit Ireland border deal between UK and EU - reports

'Brexit border deal core must remain' but Ireland will give May time to deal with 'difficult issues'

DUP leader Arlene Foster and party colleagues yesterday
DUP leader Arlene Foster and party colleagues yesterday
Simon Coveney said he does not want the Irish border to be used as a tool to pressurise the EU for broader trade agreements
Jim Shannon

The DUP was never shown a copy of the deal brokered between Theresa May's government and the EU, Sky News has reported.

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Sky News Ireland Correspondent David Blevins said this was despite the party being in constant contact with the Tories. Earlier MP Jim Shannon said the DUP did not "misunderstand" the deal on the table.

In the fall out from Monday's dramatic collapse Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the core elements of the scuppered Brexit deal must remain in place and Theresa May should be given the time to deal with "difficult political issues".

A deal was thought to be all but signed off on Monday before an intervention from DUP leader Arlene Foster. The DUP leader said there could be no regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said a deal was agreed and he was surprised and disappointed at its sudden break down.

On Tuesday morning, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the core elements of the deal that was in place should remain and his government would not be reversing out of it.

He said the Prime Minister would be given the time to manage "difficult political issues".

There was shock on Monday that the deal had seemingly not been passed by the DUP hierarchy before the negotiations reached such a crucial stage yesterday.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to talk with Arlene Foster again today and Downing Street has planned for her to return to Brussels on Wednesday in the hope of sealing a deal.

Earlier on Tuesday, DUP MP Jim Shannon told the BBC his party understood the deal on the table and many in the Conservative party were aware of the party's stance.

He said: "There was no misunderstanding from our point of view.

"There were enough of those in the Conservative Party [who] knew our opinion.

"They understood where we were in relation to this issue and they withdrew the suggestion for an agreement which was put forward."

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