DUP tells Barnier current European Union proposals on Brexit are unacceptable

DUP tells Barnier current European Union proposals on Brexit are unacceptable

DUP tells Barnier current European Union proposals on Brexit are unacceptable

The draft text includes a "backstop option" which states if no solutions are found, a common regulatory zone would be established which would leave Northern Ireland within the EU's customs territory.

"We stressed again the need to respect the constitutional position of Northern Ireland and of course the economic integrity of the single market of the United Kingdom as well".

Senior DUP members have concluded a "constructive" meeting with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said it was "somewhat ironic to talk about wanting to remove any checks between the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, and then for the European Union to suggest setting up checks and a harder border between one part of the United Kingdom and another part of the United Kingdom".

She suggested the draft withdrawal agreement published by the European Union last Wednesday was not a faithful or fair representation of the agreement reached in last-ditch talks in December. "We will be urging our government to come forward with a different text".

The Prime Minister said the United Kingdom and Irish governments, as well as the European Commission "will be working together" to avoid a hard border.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said it had raised the point that a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would do "severe damage" to the Irish economy.

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Pointing to the need for any policy to comply with the Good Friday Agreement, he told reporters: "These proposals drive a coach and horses through the principle of consent". Placing a border down the Irish Sea would not just be politically unacceptable but would be economically catastrophic.

Speaking to RTE's Morning Ireland programme, he said more detail was now needed from the UK Government.

And Nigel Dodds, Mrs Foster's deputy and the DUP's Westminster leader, also blasted Mr Barnier's proposals.

"We need to revisit the text", said Foster.

"There are three options in relation to future relations, this [legal text] has only reflected the third of those options, it doesn't reflect the first and second".

"We feel that the current draft legal text has omissions in it".

Foster appeared to offer support for the prime minister's suggestions that lessons could be learned from the Canada-US border.

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