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Theresa May's Brexit deal is dead, says DUP's Arlene Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster
DUP leader Arlene Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster has claimed Theresa May's Brexit deal is "dead" and slammed proposals to give Stormont a say over new EU rules if the border backstop comes into effect after Brexit.

Mrs Foster told the BBC's Newsline that the DUP would prefer if the backstop "disappeared" and accused the Prime Minister of continuing to "waste time".

"We told Theresa May to stop wasting time last November, she is still not listening and she is going to put a plan to parliament that is dead," she said.

Mrs Foster told the broadcaster the DUP had put forward an alternative plan last year, which Mrs May has ignored.

The UK government has proposed that Stormont should have a say over new EU rules if the backstop, which would keep Northern Ireland within the customs union to prevent a hard border in the island of Ireland, comes into effect after the UK leaves the EU- until a long-term deal is agreed.

The Irish government has rejected the Stormont proposal..

Mrs Foster said: "No one wants to throw Ireland under the bus, but what we want to see is a deal that is good for the whole of the UK and protects the union."

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald has said the EU should remain resolute on the Irish border backstop (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald, speaking after meeting chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier,  said: "The EU has made it abundantly clear there can be no undermining of the Withdrawal Agreement and its Backstop.

“The DUP continues to play a reckless game in its pursuit of a Brexit at the cost of our institutions, agreements and economy.

“The British government continues to attempt and placate DUP."

Ms McDonald called for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the matter.

She added: “Despite the chaos of Westminster and the brinkmanship of the British government it is clear that European leaders remain resolute.

“All whom we met today made clear that the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop must remain as negotiated."

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