Brexit deal not dead despite DUP warning: May's deputy

PA Wire  PA Images               European Council President Donald Tusk has claimed a Brexit deal could be made in a week

The Northern Irish party which props up Prime Minister Theresa May's government said on Friday that it would not support her proposed deal with the European Union on the Irish border in its current form and that many other members of parliament would likely reject it.

Brexit is expected to dominate the agenda of the British Irish Council, which also involves the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said the issue of British Prime Minister Theresa May writing to the DUP was an internal United Kingdom matter, but said there was a real deep feeling of uncertainty among communities with regard to the border.

In extracts published by The Times, the prime minister's letter refers to European Union demands for the proposed Brexit backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The Democratic Unionist Party which props up the fragile and divided Conservative government is furious after receiving a letter from May which that refused to rule out a backstop for Northern Ireland alone.

But DUP leaders said on Friday that Ms.

Earlier, Theresa May was accused of breaking promises over plans for the Irish border after a letter she sent to the DUP was leaked to a newspaper.

"The EU.want to maintain a Northern Ireland only 'backstop to the backstop, ' in case the future negotiations are unsuccessful", May wrote in the letter.

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The DUP has interpreted the wording of her letter to mean that specific Northern Ireland measures will be contained in the Brexit divorce deal despite Mrs May's assurances.

"But there are other political parties as well, who represent the majority of pepole in Northern Ireland, and there's also Northern Ireland business and Northern Ireland farmers, and people that live in Northern Ireland".

The party has seized on a particular paragraph of the letter in which May said she could not allow circumstances or conditions that could break up the United Kingdom customs territory to "come into force".

"The government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said the British government needed to honour its commitments to avoid a hard border rather than promises made to the DUP.

It states that the EU has proposed a contingency plan to keep Northern Ireland tied to Brussels' customs union and single market if future trade talks are unsuccessful.

Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Mrs May's effective deputy prime minister David Lidington, and Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley were attending a summit in the Isle of Man.

May will meet Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel this morning before heading to France where she will meet President Emmanuel Macron, who is one of EU's the most hardline leaders when it comes to Brexit.

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