DUP '˜will not countenance' sea border: Foster

Arlene Foster has vowed that the DUP 'will not countenance' any arrangement that could lead to a new border being created in the Irish Sea.

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 6:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:27 am
Arlene Foster said the integrity of the UK single market could not be compromised

According to reports on Sky News, DUP officials met senior members of the government on Thursday morning and made it clear any effort to keep Northern Ireland in the single market or customs union would be “deeply destabilising” to the confidence and supply deal between the DUP and Conservatives.

Reiterating her party’s position later, DUP leader Mrs Foster said: “The United Kingdom voted to the leave the European Union as one nation and we are leaving as one nation.”

Mrs Foster added her party will “continue to work with the government on the details of negotiations as they progress”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She did not make any mention of potentially withdrawing support for the Conservative government over the issue of the Irish border, as has been suggested by DUP MP Sammy Wilson.

Mrs Foster said that while she supported the continuation of the Common Travel Area for the movement of people between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, but added: “There can be no arrangements agreed that compromise the integrity of the UK single market and place barriers, real or perceived, to the free movement of goods, services and capital between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“As the EU exit discussions continue, there will be from time to time speculation, some of which is ill informed from those not across the details. For our part we remain focused on ensuring that as we leave the European Union we achieve an outcome that is beneficial to Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom as a whole.”

DUP MP Ian Paisley retweeted a post from former Ulster Unionist deputy leader Lord Kilclooney in which he warned the Brexit negotiations will prove testing for the DUP if they are to continue to keep the minority Conservative government in power.

The tweet added: “Some senior advisers within NIO may not have the best interests of NI.”