DUP says it will not support Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Sammy Wilson describes Irish backstop as a ‘con trick’, says no-deal Brexit not a worry

 DUP MP  Sammy Wilson speaks at the ‘Leave Means Rally’ in  Bournemouth last Octover. Photograph:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

DUP MP Sammy Wilson speaks at the ‘Leave Means Rally’ in Bournemouth last Octover. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

 

The DUP has said it will not support Theresa May’s Brexit deal but that businesses should be relaxed about leaving the EU without an agreement.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson told BBC radio the Irish backstop was a “con trick” and added that farmers and businesses should be totally relaxed about a no-deal Brexit.

“If anyone should be worried about the tariffs on beef and sheep then it should be the Irish because of course, we, the United Kingdom are net importers of food,” he said.

“In fact we’re more alarmed about what is coming out from the EU and especially the Irish Government, ” Mr Wilson said when asked if he was reassured by signals from Brussels.

The British prime minister still hopes to get her deal through parliament, though even members of her own cabinet admit privately that to do so she will need to make significant changes and win over large numbers of MPs from both inside and outside the Conservative Party.

If the House Commons does not approve Mrs May’s deal then the UK, the world’s fifth-largest economy will leave the EU without one on March 29th, as per the terms of the 2018 Withdrawal Act.

The DUP, whose 10 MPs prop up Mrs May’s minority government, has demanded she ditch the Irish backstop, something both the EU and the prime minister have ruled out.

Facing the defeat of her deal last month, Mrs May postponed a parliamentary vote on it, pledging to seek “legal and political assurances” from the EU.

Those efforts appear so far to be in vain. The EU said it will not reopen the negotiation though it signalled it might offer some concessions.

Mrs May needs 318 votes to get a deal through parliament yet 117 of her 317 MPs voted against her in a confidence vote on December 12th.

She will need the support of some of the Labour Party’s 257 MP or to win over swathes of her own party and the DUP.

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