The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have said their is no way that they will support Theresa May’s Brexit deal when it comes to vote this month. May needs to win over key critics, but her government partners won’t vote for it.
A DUP Brexit spokesperson, Sammy Wilson, has confirmed that they will block the deal in the Commons, but said that British people should be “totally relaxed” about leaving the UK without a deal. Wilson was asked if there was “any way” he could support the deal.
“No, there’s not”, and Wilson accused May of treating Northern Ireland like a “third country”, saying that this was the reason the DUP would not support the Brexit deal.
Wilson says that the British people should be “more worried” about May’s Brexit deal than leaving on a no deal basis.
MPs are due to begin debating the agreement on 9th January in the Commons, with a vote the following week. May scrapped a previous vote date on 11th December as it was reported she would face a “significant” defeat.
May promised that she would return to Brussels to seek assurances that the backstop would not be permanent, but EU leaders refused to negotiate further.
May called on MPs to support her Brexit deal so that 2019 can be “the year we put our differences aside and move forward together, into a strong new relationship with our European neighbours”.
A poll of Conservative party members showed that 64% would prefer to leave with no-deal than with May’s.
The Guardian has also reported that 1,000 police officers will begin training for deployment to Northern Ireland as part of the government’s contingency planning.
There has been no comment from Downing Street, in what is sure to be a major blow to May’s Brexit deal vote.