Tag Archives: DUP

Siobhán Fenton tweetz:

A rare sight here at Stormont, where there hasn’t been a government for almost three years.

Politicians enter the chamber in a bid to block the legalisation of abortion and equal marriage, due to be legalised tonight.

The DUP have now walked out of the chamber.

Leader Arlene Foster tells press “It’s a very sad day” and a “critical matter for the lives of the unborn… an issue of life and death”.

Concedes reform is likely to go ahead tonight but says party are exploring other legal options.

Abortion law: NI politicians return to Stormont (BBC)

Pics: Siobhán Fenton

From top: DUP Leader Arlene Foster: Peter Brooke in this morning’s The Times

Writing in today’s Belfast Telegraph, Ms Foster is critical of the Brexit deal and says Mr Johnson agreed to greater than necessary checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

She also said that he settled for what she calls a “one-sided” consent mechanism involving Stormont.

However, at the beginning and end of the article, Ms Foster states the party wants to get Northern Ireland moving again.

She also says that the party wants Brexit to be delivered and devolution restored.

Arlene Foster: We cannot back a deal that is not in Northern Ireland’s best interests Arlene Foster, Belfast Telegraph)

Foster confirms DUP’s ten MPs will oppose Brexit deal in vote (BBC)

Leader of the DUP Arlene Foster; a statement from the DUP this morning

This morning.

The Democratic Unionist Party released a statement saying the party cannot support the current Brexit deal that is being negotiated between the UK and the European Union.

DUP says it cannot support current Brexit deal being negotiated (RTE)

Meanwhile, earlier this morning.

Just after 1am.

RTÉ Europe Editor Tony Connelly tweeted the latest on Brexit:

Ok, here, late in the day, is what RTÉ News understands EU and UK negotiators have agreed as the revised backstop. Bear with me…I’ll break it down into Customs and Consent.

Customs: Northern Ireland is legally in the UK’s customs territory, but would it would apply the EU’s rules and procedures on tariffs.

Northern Ireland would also be aligned with the rules of the single market for industrial goods and agri-food products, meaning both regulatory and customs checks and controls on the Irish Sea for goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

However, the extent of the controls would be reduced thanks to a series of tariff exemptions.

There would be an automatic exemption for personal goods and possessions carried by those travelling back and forth between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, or, for example, if an individual was moving house.

However, there would potentially be a broader category of goods and tradable products that could be exempt from tariffs and controls if there was no risk whatsoever of such goods entering EU’s single market across the land border.

These categories of goods would be decided on in the future by the Joint Committee of EU and UK officials by consensus.

The Joint Committee was established in the original Withdrawal Agreement as a way for both sides to manage the new arrangements.

The intensity and scope of Irish Sea checks would be limited by a risk-analysis. However, the EU would, through the Joint Committee, have a veto over which kinds of goods would enjoy an exemption from tariffs and controls.

There would also be a system of rebates for goods shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland if those goods attracted an EU tariff that was higher than the UK tariff.

Consent: The mechanism essentially provides a qualified opt-out of the revised backstop arrangements via the NI Assembly.

Northern Ireland would take on the new customs and regulatory regime for four years after the end of the transition period, which is due to conclude at the end of 2020.

At that point Stormont would have to take a view as to whether or not to opt out of the new arrangements.

If Stormont voted to opt out, then there would be a two year cooling off period, during which all sides would have to find an alternative way of complying with the Good Friday Agreement and avoiding a hard border.

If at the end of the two years no alternative was found, then the Protocol would lapse, meaning Ireland would be back to a hard border scenario.

However, if the Stormont Assembly were to collapse during that period, then the default would be that the Protocol arrangements would continue to apply (ie, the revised backstop).

But there will be also be important variations on how Stormont votes for a potential exit.

If Stormont decides to use a simple majority vote, which is seen as less favourable to the DUP, then if that vote to opt out does not succeed, then Stormont would vote again four years on an opt out.

However, if Stormont decided to go for a cross-community majority vote, which is seen as more favourable to the DUP, and the vote did not pass, then Stormont would have to wait another eight years before having another opt-out vote.

Complex, convoluted, politically fraught, but does it square the circle? It’s a weighted approach that gives the DUP cover but the opt out might never take effect because if a hard border looms SInn Féin could just collapse the assembly and the default is the revised backstop.

This morning, Mr Connelly tweeted:

Senior EU official: consent issue is not currently the subject of last minute negotiations.

Senior EU official: at a certain point some [leader] will say before we approve the text we need to study it, we fully trust the Commission, but that could be a problem.

Senior EU official: People are waiting for the text, they are waiting to translate it into 23 official languages.

Senior EU official: consent is a key question. Is it the issue which remains open at the level of negotiators? That issue was discussed and there was agreement. But of course nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. But Barnier was clear that on consent there was agreement.

Senior EU official: there could be another summit before the end of October.

EU-UK agreement reached over customs, consent in post-Brexit future (RTE)

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Doods

This afternoon.

The Deputy Leader of the DUP has said the Supreme Court ruling must be respected and accepted it is possible the UK may not leave the EU on 31 October.

Nigel Dodds told RTÉ News be believes the court ruling, and what he called “the shenanigans” in the House of Commons had weakened Boris Johnson’s hand in negotiations.

Asked for his party’s response to the unanimous court ruling, he said: “The Supreme Court has spoken, the judgment must be respected.”

Dodds accepts UK may not leave EU on 31 October (RTÉ)

Earlier: Overreach

Pic: Getty

This morning.

Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Democratic Union Party (DUP) Leader Arlene Foster (right) arrives at the Intercontinental Hotel, for a ‘private meeting’.

Ms Foster met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Government Buildings last night and  as a guest speaker at a Dublin Chamber function last night.

Via RTÉ

She said those who question the stance of her party should check the letter that she and then deputy first minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly Martin McGuinness sent to former British prime minister Theresa May in August 2016, in which they outlined their concerns about Brexit.

Ms Foster said she favours a solution that recognises the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, but also the fact that it has the only land border between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

“I do recognise we have a very short period of time but I very much believe that if there is a determination, a willingness and a commitment, then we can find a way through,” she said.

Foster, Varadkar meet for talks on Brexit and NI (RTÉ)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

 NI Water said the flags were “erected without permission”  at the tower in Rathfriland, County Down following a “break-in” and the issue was reported to police

THE DUP’s Jim Wells has defended flags being placed on a water tower, saying it was “very tastefully done” and those involved have been admired for their “tenacity“.

He said the Union and Northern Ireland flags were erected atop the 110ft structure in Rathfriland to mark the Co Down town hosting a Twelfth parade.

Red, white and blue paint on top of the tower was also “refreshed” for the occasion, the MLA said.

DUP’s Jim Wells says Rathfriland water tower flags ‘very tastefully done (Irish News)

Thanks Colm Dore

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels this morning

A no-deal Brexit is now more likely but can still be avoided, the EU’s chief negotiator has said.

Michel Barnier said a long extension to the UK’s current 12 April exit date carried “significant risks for the EU” and that a “strong justification would be needed” before the EU would agree.

…In the Commons votes on Monday, MPs rejected a customs union with the EU by three votes. A motion for another referendum got the most votes in favour, but still lost.

One suggestion has been the possibility of a general election – but former foreign secretary Boris Johnson told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that would be likely to “infuriate” voters.

Brexit: No deal more likely but can be avoided – Barnier (BBC)

Meanwhile

Pic: Reuters

Fight!

Dale Pankhurst?

Oh.

Brexit: Labour rules out voting for deal keeping UK in customs union temporarily – Politics live (Guardian)

Earlier: A Limerick A Day

This afternoon.

Merrrion Hotel, Merrion Street, Dublin 2

DUP leader Arlene Foster in Dublin for Brexit talks and what have you.

FIGHT!

Rollingnews

Earlier: A Limerick A Day