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'Looks like we're heading for no-deal Brexit'- DUP MP hits out at Republic's position on Irish backstop

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

A senior DUP MP has said the UK is heading for a no-deal Brexit.

Jeffrey Donaldson MP, who represents Lagan Valley, responded to a tweet from deputy prime minister of Ireland Simon Coveney which rejected a time-limited backstop or a backstop that could be unilaterally ended by the UK without the agreement of the Republic and the European Union.

Mr Donaldson said a no deal would have "serious consequences" for the Republic of Ireland's economy and that the UK "won't have to pay a penny more" to the EU.

On Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was "open" to considering proposals for a review mechanism for the backstop but said the outcome of any such review could not involve the UK deciding on its own to end the backstop.

However, a Downing Street spokesman said the intention of both the UK and the Republic is that the backstop should only be temporary.

The EU's position to avoid a hard border has been for Northern Ireland to remain within the EU's customs union.

However, the DUP is strongly opposed to this, saying it will not allow Northern Ireland's position within the UK to be compromised.

Prime Minister Theresa May has previously stated she will not consider any proposals that would see Northern Ireland "carved out" of the United Kingdom.

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