UK PM May draws North­ern Ir­ish al­lies’ fury over Brexit

Millennium Post - - World -

LON­DON: Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May drew the fury of her cru­cial North­ern Ir­ish al­lies on Fri­day af­ter seem­ingly ac­cept­ing an Eubacked Brexit so­lu­tion they fer­vently op­pose.

The Times news­pa­per re­ported that May sent a fivepage let­ter on Tues­day to the lead­ers of North­ern Ire­land's small Demo­cratic Union­ist Party (DUP) that props up her gov­ern­ment.

In it, May re­port­edly tried to as­sure her al­lies that she would never al­low a Brexit deal pro­posal of­fered by Brus­sels to "come into force".

But DUP lead­ers said on Fri­day that May's word­ing meant the Brexit fix would still be in­cluded in the with­drawal agree­ment that Lon­don and Brus­sels hope to reach in the com­ing days.

They said May had ear­lier promised them that it never would.

"The PM'S let­ter raises alarm bells for those who value the in­tegrity of our pre­cious union & for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole UK," DUP leader Ar­lene Foster tweeted.

"From her let­ter, it ap­pears the PM is wed­ded to the idea of a bor­der down the Ir­ish Sea with NI in the EU SM regu

la­tory regime." DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wil­son told Sky News that May was guilty of "to­tal be­trayal".

At is­sue is the vex­ing prob

lem of how to avoid bor­der checks be­tween Bri­tish North­ern Ire­land and the Repub­lic of Ire­land af­ter Brexit en­ters into force on March 29.

Lon­don sug­gests Bri­tain could tem­po­rar­ily stay aligned with the bloc's trade rules but wants to re­serve the right to exit the ar­range­ment.

The EU ap­pears ready to ac­cept that -- but only if there is a fall-backed op­tion writ­ten into the with­drawal agree­ment.

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