Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.03 17 Oct 2019


Share this article


Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said it cannot support a proposed Brexit deal between the EU and UK.

Party leader Arlene Foster and and deputy leader Nigel Dodds say that "as things stand", they "could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT".

"We will continue to work with the government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom", they add.

Advertisement

Meanwhile the European Commission says contacts between EU and UK teams are continuing.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker spoke to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson following the DUP statement.

"Every hour and minute counts before the #EUCO. We want a deal", Mr Juncker's chief spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said.

It comes as Brexit negotiations have been ongoing throughout the night in a bid to reach a last minute deal.

It is understood the two sides are close, but issues remain around VAT and how it will be treated in Northern Ireland.

Despite optimism all through Wednesday a deal had not been reached as the clock struck midnight in Brussels.

While most issued had been resolved, the management of VAT in Northern Ireland remained to be resolved.

Brexit deal European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (centre) speaks during the weekly EU College of Commissioners meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels | Image: Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images

The key issue that needs to be addressed is the issue of the Irish border.

The new proposal would replace the backstop, with Northern Ireland continuing to administer EU tariffs despite leaving the bloc's customs union.

This would remove the need for customs checks but also allow businesses north of the border to benefit from new UK trade deals by applying for a rebate from the British government.

The UK has reportedly agreed in principle that there will be a customs border in the Irish Sea, something the DUP has previously expressed opposition to.

Northern Ireland's Stormont assembly would also have the opportunity to change this - with a voting system that gives opportunities for both unionists and nationalists to block or enable change.

Agreements have already been reached in Brussels that were shot down in Britain's House of Commons, and both sides are keen to avoid that again.

EU leaders summit

EU leaders, including Mr Johnson, are heading for a summit with the chances of getting a deal hanging in the balance.

If a deal looks to be on the table, British MPs could decide on Thursday whether its parliament will sit on Saturday after the summit.

October 19th is a key date because the Benn Act, which was passed by UK MPs trying to prevent a no-deal Brexit, states Mr Johnson must write to Brussels asking for an extension if the parliament does not agree to a deal by then.

EU sources told the Reuters news agency that the tentative deal is largely ready, but "overall backing from the British government is needed to launch it all".

There was cautious optimism from other leaders earlier, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying: "I want to believe an agreement is being finalised and that we will be able to endorse it tomorrow (Thursday)."

Appearing at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Macron added that it was his hope that a deal "can be found in the coming hours".

Meanwhile, Mrs Merkel declared: "We are in the final sprint."

Additional reporting: Sean Defoe/IRN


Share this article


Read more about

Arlene Foster Brexit Brexit Deal Brexit Negotiations Brexit Plan Brussels DUP Democratic Unionist Party Negotiations Nigel Dodds Northern Ireland

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-18:00

Share

Up next

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

18:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on