By: Steve Dellar | 10-04-2018 | News
Photo credit: Ireland Against Brexit

Brexit - DUP Leader Foster Warns UK For A ‘Blood Red’ Ireland Over Border Deal

When UK Prime Minister wanted a ‘stronger hand’ to start Brexit negotiations with the EU last year, she called snap elections over the summer of 2017.

In the end, she was left with a humiliating defeat as her Conservative Party lost their absolute majority and she had to be propped up by the Northern Irish DUP to remain in place.

Although the 10 Northern Irish MPs are only used to hand British prime minister Theresa May’s minority Conservative government a workable majority, they are in a very important position this time around as Brexit enters its final stage. The Northern Irish politicians get a firsthand to say over what happens with one of the last sticking points of the agreement: the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Related coverage: <a href=""> Brexit – Theresa May: “No Hard Border Between Northern Ireland and Ireland”</a>.

When the UK leaves the EU, the problem that will re-emerge is not only the reintroduction of customs but also a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Should border controls, which were the cause of terrorist attacks and violence in the past on the Irish isle, be re-installed?

Ms. Arlene Foster, the DUP’s leader, stated: “There cannot be a border down the Irish Sea, a differential between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The red line is blood red. All along we have said: ‘No new regulatory alignment.”

Subsequently, when asked whether she would be prepared to vote down Ms. May on any Brexit deal not foreseeing this, Ms. Foster said: “We don’t want to be in that position. This is too important to be playing around with things because this is the union - this is what brought me into politics.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We won&#39;t accept any extra checks in the Irish Sea, DUP&#39;s Arlene Foster says <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) <a href="">October 2, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Over in Ireland itself, Prime Minister Mr. Leo Varadkar rejected any suggestions that the upcoming Brexit agreement could do anything to change the ‘Good Friday’ texts (the 1998 Belfast agreements which ended the Irish war and the border violence).

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">DUP leader Arlene Foster addresses her comments on the Good Friday Agreement, where she said the deal was not a sacrosanct piece of legislation <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; RTÉ News (@rtenews) <a href="">October 2, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Whereas Ms. Foster seemed to suggest the Good Friday agreement “wasn’t sacrosanct”, Irish Prime Minister Mr. Varadkar told the Dáil it “is not a piece of British legislation”.

“It is an international agreement between the British and Irish governments as well as a multi-party agreement among the various parties.”

It would seem that Brexit is now being decided in Ireland rather than in Britain.


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