Brexit – live news: Theresa May to visit Northern Ireland border amid Tory row over backstop plan

Theresa May will give a speech in Belfast at lunchtime, in which she is expected to insist the government will honour the Good Friday Agreement and keep the Northern Ireland border open after Brexit.


Ahead of the speech, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster re-iterated her party’s demand that Ms May ditch the controversial backstop part of her Brexit plan.


She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“We will be reiterating our opposition to the current backstop. And the fact that Parliament has now backed that position means that she (Ms May) has a clear mandate to go back to Brussels.

“Parliament’s mandate is to replace the backstop. The current backstop, as I have said all along, is toxic to those of us living in Northern Ireland, and indeed for unionists right across the United Kingdom, because it would cause the break-up of the United Kingdom into the medium and longer term.”

Asked about whether her position on the backstop was making the prospect of a no-deal Brexit more likely, she replied:


“The intransigence of the European Union and the Republic of Ireland in their attitude they are actually more likely to bring about the very thing they want to avoid.”


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