Northern Ireland’s DUP says: We cannot support Brexit deal as it stands

LONDON (Reuters) – Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party said on Thursday it could not support the Brexit deal being proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union.

“As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT,” DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the Government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.”

The support of the DUP, which backs Johnson’s government, is crucial as some hardline Brexiteers in his party say they will be swayed by its stance on the most difficult part of any agreement – the Irish border riddle.

Johnson, who has no majority in the 650-seat parliament, needs 320 votes to get a deal ratified. The DUP have 10 votes.

Sterling slid as much as 0.6% to $1.2748 GBP=D3, and also declined 0.5% versus the euro to as low as 86.81 pence EURGBP=D3, before steadying and recouping some of those losses.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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