No-deal Brexit Plan 'Will Include New Border in Irish Sea'

DUP politician Sammy Wilson

DUP politician Sammy Wilson

"The EU.want to maintain a Northern Ireland only 'backstop to the backstop, ' in case the future negotiations are unsuccessful", May wrote in the letter.

Theresa May's Brexit plans have come under fresh doubt after her Democratic Unionist party allies (DUP) said a letter from her "raises alarm bells", suggesting she will not be able to depend on its support to get the proposals through parliament.

Theresa May will dismiss claims that she has capitulated on the "backstop to the backstop" but it seems clear, based on the contents of her five-page letter to the Democratic Unionist Party, revealed yesterday by The Times, that she is willing to concede on pretty much all the European Union has asked for.

DUP leader Foster said in a letter to May that any backstop could not leave Northern Ireland aligned to specific sectoral European Union market regulations.

It comes as tensions are mounting between the DUP and the British Prime Minister over the future of Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

Mr Wilson told Sky News the prime minister is guilty of a "total betrayal" and had gone back on "the promises she made".

Why has the letter annoyed the DUP?

They said Ms. May had earlier promised them that it never would.

With less than five months to go until Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29, both sides remain at odds over how to avoid a hard border in Ireland and are yet to agree a backup plan for the Irish border should a no-deal Brexit occur.

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May, who marks the centenary of the end of World War One at ceremonies in Belgium and France on Friday, has repeatedly said she will not accept any deal that breaks up the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister relies on the support of the DUP's 10 MPs for her Commons majority, votes which will be crucial as she attempts to get a deal through Parliament.

In response to the emergence of the letter, a Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister's letter sets out her commitment, which she has been absolutely clear about on any number of occasions, to never accepting any circumstances in which the United Kingdom is divided into two customs territories".

A spokesman added that "the government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

"It must be built on to ensure our rights are protected and translated into legally operable and binding text as part of any withdrawal agreement".

The Taoiseach said "I'm hopeful it can be done in the next few weeks".

"A successful outcome is not guaranteed but I think it is possible in the next couple of weeks", Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.

The UK Government Minister for the Department for Exiting the EU - Robin Walker - was at today's meeting.

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