DUP insists it will withdraw backing if May persists with deal

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The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has insisted it will withdraw support for Theresa May’s Government if the Prime Minister presses ahead with her Brexit deal with the EU.

Asked if the DUP was prepared to precipitate a general election, the party’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If it comes to the point where the Government makes, shows, a determination to implement the Withdrawal Agreement with its damaging terms at present, or some future version of it, which is still equally damaging, we will not be supporting the Government.”

Sammy Wilson

Sammy Wilson

Referring to the DUP’s agreement to prop up the Tories in the Commons, Mr Wilson added: “If they break the agreement which they have with us, then they don’t have our support.

“If they renege on those promises now, or in the future, we always have that leverage.”

Mrs May indicated she would go ahead with the crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal next Tuesday, telling the Today programme: “We are in the middle of five days of debate in Parliament which will lead up to a vote on this issue.”

She added: “There are concerns about part of that withdrawal bit of the deal, which is what has come to be called the backstop.

“I recognise that there are those concerns. Any deal, any agreement, any arrangement that we came to with the European Union would involve a backstop.

“So, people talk about, ‘let’s have a Norway, or let’s have a Canada’, everything involves a backstop.

“Secondly, none of the other arrangements that people have put forward fully deliver on the referendum. This deal delivers on the referendum.”