We've still Westminster clout, says DUP as PM rules out Northern-Ireland only backstop ahead of meeting
The DUP has rejected a suggestion it is losing influence in the corridors of power at Westminster.
It comes as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out a Northern Ireland-only backstop as a means to get a deal with the EU.
DUP chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, speaking on the BBC Radio 4 World at One programme said the idea his party influence in London is on the wane "flies in the face of reality".
Senior party officials - including leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds - are meeting with the PM on Monday evening.
"We are plugged into the ongoing discussions about alternative arrangements, we have a significant role to play and, therefore, I would argue that our influence remains," Sir Jeffrey said.
He also dismissed suggestions the Mr Johnson could opt for a Northern Ireland-only backstop in a bid to get a deal through parliament. He said the Conservative leader would not agree to something having appointed himself minister for the Union.
He said a trade border in the Irish seas between NI and GB would "contravene the core principles" of the Good Friday Agreement and be "destabilising".
A spokesman for the Prime Minister also ruled out a NI-only backstop.
On the meeting with the DUP, his spokesman said: "I imagine they will discuss a full range of issues including the discussions which are taking place on Brexit and I am sure they will also discuss a range of matters relating specifically to Northern Ireland as well."
Belfast Telegraph Digital