Arlene Foster says Boris Johnson will have to renegotiate his Brexit deal
- Credit: PA
Arlene Foster has warned the prime minister the DUP will continue to say no to his Brexit deal unless he renegotiates with Brussels.
Addressing the DUP conference in Belfast, Foster demanded "honesty" from the government after reflecting on Boris Johnson's speech to the same event last year, when he insisted he would not erect any new economic barriers in the Irish Sea.
Foster joked that the DUP had now put Johnson on the "naughty step" by voting against his government twice in the last week.
Denouncing the regulatory and customs borders between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK contained in the prime minister's deal, the DUP leader claimed it would take Northern Ireland in the "wrong direction".
Foster told delegates her party had the "boldness and strength to stand up and say no when we need to".
You may also want to watch:
"On Brexit, we will not give support to the Government when we believe they are fundamentally wrong and acting in a way that is detrimental to Northern Ireland and taking us in the wrong direction," she said.
"We will oppose them and we will use our votes to defeat them.
- 1 Susanna Reid takes on Priti Patel over government's gaslighting of public on coronavirus
- 2 ‘Don’t haste ye back’ - Nicola Sturgeon's perfect farewell message to Donald Trump
- 3 PMQs: Ben Bradshaw calls out Boris Johnson over Brexit lies
- 4 Tory minister admits UK rejected EU's music visa offer in order to 'take back control' of borders
- 5 Brexiteer musician accused of hypocrisy after demanding No 10 help bands with EU visa
- 6 Piers Morgan tells Gavin Williamson to resign for being a 'catastrophe'
- 7 Comedian wins praise after shaming No 10 during Dancing on Ice appearance
- 8 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 9 Trump caller hangs up on James O'Brien after failing to cite ex-president's 'truths'
- 10 9 of the best tweets of Donald Trump leaving the White House
"Let me say clearly from this platform today that we want to support a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom and which does not leave Northern Ireland behind.
"But without change, we will not vote for the prime minister's agreement.
"It would be bad for Northern Ireland economically and will weaken the foundations of this great United Kingdom.
"We have been clear and honest with the government throughout this process and we expect the same in return. The customs and consent arrangements must be revisited and a one-nation approach adopted.
"We worked intensively with the government over recent weeks to try to reach a fair and balanced deal. We were not seeking a perfect deal.
"No such deal exists. We were seeking a deal which delivered Brexit without erecting barriers to trade.
"Dublin and Brussels belatedly reopened Mrs (Theresa) May's deal having rigidly refused to do so. Having told us it could not be re-negotiated it was, and I encourage the Prime Minister to do the same again."
Foster made reference to Johnson's oft-repeated remarks at the 2018 DUP conference as she opened her leader's address on Saturday.
"It is almost impossible to believe it is 11 months since we last gathered at our conference," she said.
"In that time much has happened - we have fought, and won two elections, we have continued to strive to get a sensible Brexit deal; the United Kingdom has a new prime minister, and rather than have Boris with us today we have had to send him to the naughty step in parliament twice in the last week.
"Colleagues, it was Harold Wilson who coined the phrase that 'a week is a long time in politics', but in the era through which we are living a day seems a long time.
"But while that may be the case one thing remains certain - this party continues to stand strong for Northern Ireland."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.