Tory rebels won't support Theresa May's Chequers Brexit plan, says MP


The Democratic Unionist Party has threatened to vote against the Prime Minister's budget, potentially bringing down the Government, if Theresa May breaks their Brexit red lines, it has emerged.

The plan would also involve keeping Northern Ireland in the single market to help maintain frictionless trade across the border with the Republic while mainland Britain would be outwith the single market.

DOWNING Street has played down expectations of an agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union at a summit next week, warning that "big issues" remain to be resolved.

Brexit negotiators are working "day and night" to try to reach a deal, the EU's Michel Barnier has said.

The Prime Minister has come under growing pressure from Brexit-backing Tories to drop the plan agreed by the Cabinet at her country residence in July and instead seek a Canada-style free trade deal. Clearly No10 are negotiating a backstop that makes the United Kingdom a permanent European Union colony.

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"We are not afraid of elections, we never have been in the DUP. That's not what the biggest majority in our history voted for".

On Wednesday night, DUP MPs abstained on a piece of agricultural legislation on which they had been expected to back the government, in a message to Prime Minister May that they are not bluffing.

This followed a fractious meeting of its MPs with Julian Smith, the Government Chief Whip.

The DUP previously said it could vote down the Budget later this month.

The party's Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson later explicitly warned the Government against doing a deal that kept Northern Ireland in the Single Market, writing in the Telegraph the party could not support "any deal which includes such economically and constitutionally damaging arrangements". The Irish border has been a key sticking point in Brexit talks.

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It will follow another Whitehall meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee, which will be attended by Mr Lidington and his colleagues Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary.

Mr Duncan Smith said it was "wholly feasible to have non-hard borders" in Northern Ireland.

"I understand why such procedures are politically sensitive", he said, but added "Brexit was not our choice, it is the choice of the UK".

He repeated his call for the cabinet to ditch the Chequers plan, which envisages a free trade area for goods based on a "common rulebook", and go for a looser free trade agreement like the Ceta deal between the European Union and Canada.

She added they should also remember that Parliament gave the British people the decision over Brexit, and following the 2016 referendum result "it is our duty to ensure that we leave". "That is why we are interested in maximising an orderly withdrawal and minimising the cost of withdrawal".

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