The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will not support the Tory Brexit deal but seek further changes to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, if he remains prime minister after the general election.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party launched its general election manifesto Thursday with a promise to oppose the Brexit deal Boris Johnson clinched with Brussels.
The DUP — which propped up the Conservative government in Westminster after Theresa May lost her majority in 2017 — refused to support the Brexit deal struck by Johnson because it would entail checks on some goods travelling to the rest of the U.K.
The deal would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU customs union rules and some single market rules, despite it being included in trade deals the U.K. strikes with other countries.
Speaking at an event in Belfast, DUP leader Arlene Foster said she was “committed to a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom and which does not leave Northern Ireland behind, with no border in the Irish Sea.”
Arlene Foster said the number of DUP MPs elected would determine “the shape and direction of this country”.
The party, won 10 seats in the 2017 general election, launched its manifesto in Belfast on Thursday.
The DUP opposes elements of the Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland.
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds says his party wants a ‘sensible’ Brexit deal.
Mr Dodds said: “There can be no borders in the Irish Sea.
“We will work to try to get a sensible Brexit deal.”
“But it cannot erect new barriers.
“We need our people to come together, not create more division.”
The Prime Minister’s proposals would involve customs processes in Great Britain which businesses in Northern Ireland fear would create extra administration.
It is designed to prevent any regulatory border on the island of Ireland.
The DUP manifesto said: “The East-West checks as proposed would lead to excessively bureaucratic burdens for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and consequently higher prices and less choice for consumers as GB businesses opt for ‘not available in Northern Ireland’.”
The DUP’s 10 former MPs largely supported the Conservative minority Government during the last parliamentary term.
Nigel Dodds is engaged in a tight battle to defend his North Belfast seat against a pro-Remain Sinn Fein candidate.
Dodds launched his party’s General Election manifesto in Belfast on Thursday.
“The DUP voted against Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and we will use our votes and our influence to oppose its dangers to the economic and constitutional position of Northern Ireland,” he said.
DUP Brexit position
There are no surprises when it comes to the DUP’s position on Brexit.
The Leave-supporting party is standing by its long-established red lines:
- The UK must leave the EU as one country, with no border in the Irish Sea
- There must be unfettered access for Northern Ireland to and from the Great Britain market
- Work towards a Brexit deal in Northern Ireland’s interests