Belfast Telegraph

DUP's Arlene Foster rules out flying to London for Brexit talks over border in Ireland

Arlene Foster has ruled out flying to London on Tuesday for crisis talks with the Prime Minister, according to reports.

This comes after the breakdown of negotiations between the UK and the EU on an agreement that would allow the Brexit process to move onto future trade arrangements.

On Monday Theresa May pulled out of a deal at the last minute with the EU after fierce resistance shown by the DUP to a proposed "regulatory alignment" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Telegraph quotes a DUP source as saying they did not think "it would be productive" for the DUP leader to make the trip, and she would go over "when they are close to agreeing something".

The DUP's leader in the House of Commons Nigel Dodds is instead scheduled to meet with the government's chief whip Julian Smith to discuss the terms of Britain's EU exit.

The paper reports this puts Theresa May's plans to fly to Brussels later this week into doubt.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, senior DUP sources have warned a no deal Brexit could be on the horizon after the collapse of negotiations.

"It's back to the drawing-board," a party source said. "Theresa May is caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of what she can do.

"We have made it clear that we will not tolerate any political or economic threat to Northern Ireland's position in the UK."

Speaking in Westminster on Tuesday, Nigel Dodds said that there was "now an agreement that the UK stands together and nothing will happen that causes the breakup of this great United Kingdom".

He also hit out at Dublin for pursuing its own interests in "an aggressive and anti-unionist way".

The BBC reports Theresa May is expected to speak to Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill.

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