Belfast Telegraph

DUP's Foster says May 'cannot in good conscience' recommend Brexit backstop

DUP leader Arlene Foster has warned Theresa May she cannot "in good conscience" recommend a Brexit deal which keeps Northern Ireland in the customs union.

Mrs Foster, speaking after a third day of talks in Brussels, said the decisions made by the Prime Minister in the comings days will be "critical" for Northern Ireland.

She added that Northern Ireland was not being offered the "best of both worlds."

"Brussels wants Northern Ireland to have access to the EU single market and trade within the rules set by the EU under the European Courts of Justice," she said. 

"However, Brussels also wants to place an effective one-way turnstile from Northern Ireland into the rest of the United Kingdom.

"Trade from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would be in danger of restriction. Indeed, Northern Ireland’s access to any new United Kingdom trade deals would also be regulated by Brussels. 

"That is not the best of both worlds. That is the worst of one world. "

Mrs Foster said the Prime Minister, as a unionist, could not "in good conscience" recommend a deal which places a trade barrier on United Kingdom businesses moving goods from one part of the UK to another.

She added: "We will take decisions based on what is best for everyone in Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.”

On Wednesday DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson warned the Prime Minister that his party would pull support and collapse her government if Northern Ireland was left "languishing in the stifling embrace of the EU" after Brexit.

He said: "She will not have DUP support regardless of whether the Government tries to bribe, bully or browbeat us into accepting it."

The DUP has also said it will vote down the Prime Minister's budget if the party's Brexit "red lines" were not respected.

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