DUP must see merit of May’s deal say business groups

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The DUP has maintained that the European Union is using the Irish border as a means to eventually cut off the province from the rest of the United Kingdom, with DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson calling the issue a "con".

A government spokesman later issued a statement to clarify that Mr Varadkar was not referring to the Irish Army.

If Britain quits the European Union without an accord on 29 March, there are concerns infrastructure will be needed to enforce customs and regulations at the new edge of the trading bloc.

He said Brexit discussions had been dominated by speculation on its potential impact on trade and the economy, but that for Ireland it was about ensuring continued peace on the island and that the progress made in 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement was not lost.

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In an interview with BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show, Coveney said he did not see the need for further compromise because "the backstop is already a compromise".

A no-deal Brexit will lead to a hard border in Ireland, the European Commission said for the first time last week.

He added, "Why is that the country who is being victimized is always being asked to give?"

He said: "Look, what my Taoiseach and prime minister, as people in Britain will understand it, said was he was asked to describe what a hard border looks like".

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The call cost them but if the Saints could have taken care of business during overtime this wouldn't even be a talking point. The other, still pending in state court, is a class action suit seeking unspecified damages for season-ticket holders.

But he insisted that the backstop - the insurance policy aimed at avoiding a hard Irish border - had to remain a part of the withdrawal agreement.

"The only alternative they can offer to a backstop is a promise to sort it out later or a promise around technologies that don't exist yet", Mr Varadkar said.

"Despite what the DUP are saying, people here did not consent to Brexit".

Speaking from Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum, Mr Varadkar said it was "very unlikely" that Brexit would not happen at all.

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Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, who helped organise the event, said the group wanted to "impress" on the opposition parties the need to protect Northern Ireland. "We could work with a Canada-model with special arrangements for Northern Ireland", Mr Varadkar said.

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