DUP predicts 'developments' in Government's Brexit position over weekend

But the Northern Irish party that British Prime Minister Theresa May's government relies on for support has threatened to challenge her leadership if their wishes aren't respected on the Irish border.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox are reported to have expressed their discontent in the meeting on Thursday.

Dara Calleary, deputy leader of Fianna Fáil, said he was concerned by the DUP's response, ...

And it confirmed that if these are not in place in time for a no-deal Brexit, exports and imports to these countries will become subject to tariffs under World Trade Organisation rules.

In a worrying development for May's government, one DUP source told Politico: "Right now, Labour's position is better for us than May's".

The main sticking point is finding a way to maintain an invisible border between the UK's Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

"He told the BBC's Political Thinking podcast: "'Their behaviour was pretty intolerable, but not almost as intolerable as the way the present Prime Minister is being treated".

"I hope for progress and there is progress, but the devil is in the details, as they say", said Merkel, who was in The Hague for talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte . The EU leaders must also back the deal and then so must the British and EU parliaments.

The head of the Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, said May "could not in good conscience" back an European Union proposal for checks on goods being imported to Northern Ireland from Britain after Brexit.

The Prime Minister reportedly asked senior ministers in her "Brexit war cabinet" on Thursday to agree to a proposal to keep Britain inside a customs union with the EU, if she fails to agree any alternative arrangements before the end of the two year Brexit transition period.

Sammy Wilson, Brexit spokesman for Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Part, made public a previously private threat to vote against the government;s budget proposals this month if May breaches his party's red lines, a move that could lead to fresh elections.

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, meanwhile, has said he has "great sympathy" for Mrs May, telling the BBC's Political Thinking podcast that "the way she's being treated by some of her colleagues is absolutely outrageous".

Furious Brexit-supporting cabinet ministers are said to be concerned Mrs May's deal could leaving the United Kingdom tied to the customs union beyond December 2021 - the end of the transition period.

"I would advise them to hold firm against Brexit because either of these choices are unpalatable", he said at an event in London hosted by Reuters.

  • David Armstrong