DUP says it will not support the third 'meaningful vote' on Theresa May's Brexit deal

PUBLISHED: 21:01 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 21:12 27 March 2019

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds in Westminster pictured with anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds in Westminster pictured with anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The DUP has said it will not support the government if it tables a fresh meaningful Brexit vote because "the necessary changes we seek to the backstop have not been secured".

In a statement announcing they will not back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the Democratic Unionist Party said: “The DUP and the government have had good discussions in recent days and some progress on domestic legislation has been made.

“All concerned recognise the need to ensure that as we leave the European Union the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom is maintained.

“However, given the fact that the necessary changes we seek to the backstop have not been secured between the government and the European Union, and the remaining and ongoing strategic risk that Northern Ireland would be trapped in backstop arrangements at the end of the implementation period, we will not be supporting the government if they table a fresh meaningful vote.

“The backstop if operational has the potential to create an internal trade border within the United Kingdom and would cut us off from our main internal market, being Great Britain.

“We want to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from, and our future relationship with, the European Union on terms that accord with our key objectives to ensure the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“In our view the current withdrawal agreement does not do so and the backstop, which we warned this government against from its first inception, poses an unacceptable threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom and will inevitably limit the United Kingdom’s ability to negotiate on the type of future relationship with the EU.”

Following the statement representatives from the party claimed that it would not abstain in the vote, and would be voting against the government, leaving the future of the deal uncertain.

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