DUP’s Foster urges PM ‘not to waste time’ on her Brexit deal

DUP leader Arlene Foster has called on Theresa May to “not waste time” on her Brexit deal and instead look for a better solution to the Irish border.

Reiterating that her party’s 10 MPs would not support the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement when it comes to Parliament, she said it would create a “huge democratic deficit” in Northern Ireland.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and Prime Minister Theresa May (archive image)

DUP leader Arlene Foster and Prime Minister Theresa May (archive image)

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Foster said the current proposals contain “68 pages of regulations that will apply to Northern Ireland and will not apply to the rest of the UK”.

“There is a huge democratic deficit coming our way if we agree to this deal, because we’ve no say over the rules that will apply to Northern Ireland,” she added.

Ms Foster said Theresa May’s Brexit deal would see Northern Ireland “diverge off from the United Kingdom” as she called on her to “look for a better deal” that “takes back control of of our money, of our borders and of our laws”.

The DUP leader said: “All the things that made us vote for Brexit are the things that are going to be imposed on Northern Ireland.”

She also hinted that if Mrs May’s current Withdrawal Agreement fails to get through the Commons, her party could be open to a so-called “Norway-plus” style arrangement, where the whole of the UK stays in the customs union.

Ms Foster says the DUP’s “one red line” is to make sure Northern Ireland is not differentiated from the rest of the UK in terms of customs and is “not prescriptive” about other potential options on the future relationship with the EU.