DUP leader Arlene Foster has declined to rule out supporting a softer Brexit which would break Theresa May’s red lines, saying the most important thing is keeping the UK together. Late last night, the DUP issued a statement confirming they would not back any deal that “poses an unacceptable threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom” as Brexiteer conflict over the hated backstop rages on. The Prime Minister has pledged to resign as soon as Brexit is delivered in order to appease angry Tories but the promise appears to be in vain without a shift in the DUP’s position.
Mrs May has pencilled in another vote on her deal for Friday evening but will only bring it forward if she can persuade the DUP to vote for it today.
Many hardline Brexiters, including the Tory Party’s European Research Group chief Jacob Rees-Mogg, have warmed to supporting the Withdrawal Agreement amid fears Brexit may never happen otherwise.
Yesterday, the Commons failed to agree a majority compromise on any other Brexit option to the current divorce deal with a second referendum and Common Market 2.0 limping to the most support.
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8.17am update: DUP reaffirms Brexit deal opposition
DUP leader Arlene Foster has reiterated her party’s opposition to Theresa May’s deal this morning.
In a serious blow to the Prime Minister’s hopes of holding a third meaningful vote this week, Mrs Foster told Irish broadcaster RTE: “You cannot abstain on the union. You just could not do that.
“Abstention would be the worst of all worlds because you are not actually indicating where you stand on the most important issue of our times so that was never an option,” she said.
Mrs Foster did not rule out supporting a soft-Brexit, saying: “We want to see Brexit delivered. But if it’s a Brexit that keeps the whole of the United Kingdom together, that is the most important thing,” she said.
8.01am update: What more does she have to do?
Our front page today asks what more Theresa May has to do to get her deal through Parliament after offering to fall on her sword last night.