The DUP today lashed Theresa May’s Brexit plan as a ‘bad deal’ which MPs will reject – as their pact to prop her up in No10 hangs in the balance.
Sammy Wilson, the party’s Brexit spokesman, said many in the country will be ‘appalled’ at the deal the PM has thrashed out with Brussels.
And he vowed that the DUP will vote against it when the deal comes heads to Parliament for a titanic battle next month.
His words are a major blow for Mrs May as the DUP’s 10 MPs are propping the Tories up in Number Ten in a confidence and supply deal.
The party’s leader Arlene Foster flew down to Britain this morning and is expected to hold showdown talks with the PM in No10 tonight.
But Leo Varadkar, the Irish PM, welcomed the ‘decisive progress’ made in the Brexit talks and thanked Mrs May for safeguarding the peace process in Northern Ireland.
If the DUP pull their support for the Tories then they could send Mrs May’s Government crashing down.
Sammy Wilson, the party’s Brexit spokesman, (pictured, centre, tonight in Westminster) said many in the country will be ‘appalled’ at the deal the PM has thrashed out with Brussels
The DUP’s words are a major blow for Theresa May (pictured outside No10 tonight) as the the party’s 10 MPs are propping the Tories up in Number Ten in a confidence and supply deal
The DUP’s Brexit spokesman turned his fire on the Brexit plan – branding it a humiliation
Mr Wilson slammed the deal to BBC News minutes after Mrs May emerged from No10 to announce her Cabinet had approved a deal after a marathon five hour meeting.
The furious MP for East Antrim said: ‘It is a poor deal. It is a bad deal. It is a deal which she said that she would never accept and I think when it comes to the House of Commons she is going to find that there are many people who share that view.
Theresa May wins Cabinet’s approval for her controversial Brexit deal
The PM addressed the nation after winning Cabinet’s approval for her Brexit deal following a marathon six hour meeting
Theresa May claimed she was acting in the ‘national interest’ tonight after forcing her Brexit deal through a stormy Cabinet meeting.
During nearly five hours of behind-closed doors discussions, a series of ministers are said to have raised concerns about the controversial plan.
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey is said to have been the most hostile – even breaking normal practice by calling for a formal vote.
The idea was apparently rebuffed by Mrs May who pointed out that decisions were usually taken based on the mood of the room.
After the behind-closed doors rowing, which went on three hours longer than scheduled, the premier took to the steps of Downing Street admitting that the debate had been ‘long and impassioned’.
‘The collective decision of Cabinet was that the government should agree the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the outline political declaration,’ Mrs May said.
‘I know there will be difficult days ahead. This is a decision that will come under intense scrutiny and that is entirely as it should be.
‘But the choice was this deal that enables to take back control and build a brighter future or going back to square one with division and uncertainty.’
‘I firmly believe with my head and heart that this decisive choice is in the best interests of the entire UK.’
‘Because why would a Prime Minster wish to sell a deal to the Commons which keeps us tied to the customs union, which keeps us tied to EU regulations, which doesn’t allow us to break free of those except by the permission of a body outside the united kingdom.
‘And for that we pay £39billion.
‘I think that people will be appalled at this deal. To use her own words, no deal is better than a bad deal and I would think that the House of Commons will give their judgement on it when it eventually comes to MPs.’
Mrs May today emerged from a lengthy and tense Cabinet meeting that ran several hours over schedule to say her long-awaited deal had received crucial Cabinet backing.
She insisted that she believed with her ‘head and heart’ that the deal is the best for the UK – and ‘in the national interest’.
But she faces perilous days and weeks to come as she tries to win over support of furious Tory MPs who have vowed to rebel against the plan.
Brexiteers have accused her of betrayal and many ministers are said to still harbour deep reservations about the deal.
While more letters of no confidence are said to have been sent to Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory party’s 1922 Committee.
If he gets 48 letters then it will trigger a leadership ballot.
Mrs Foster turned up the heat today by warning Mrs May there will be ‘consequences’ if she pushes her plan through.
Speaking in the central lobby of the Palace of Westminster, Mrs Foster said: ‘If she decides to go against that, if she decides to go against herself – because on many, many occasions she stood up in this very place and said she will not break up the United Kingdom, there will be no difference between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK – if she decides to go against all that, then there will be consequences.’
Bit the Irish PM Mr Varadkar struck a very different tone as he held a press conference in Dub,in this evening.
He said: ‘Decisive progress has been made – this paves the way for a special meeting of the European Council later this month.
‘While I welcome the development, we have said from the outset that Bresix is not our policy and is something that we reject..
‘However, we respect the vote of the United Kingdom’s people and their decision to leave.’
DUP leader Arlene Foster – whose 10 MPs are propping Mrs May up in power – warned there would be ‘consequences’ if Mrs May pushes her deal through
Mr Varadkar said avoiding a hard border had been ‘one of the most difficult challenges’ of the process.
He said the draft withdrawal agreement had fully spelt out the backstop arrangement.
He made clear the backstop would remain in place ‘unless and until’ a better solution is agreed.
‘I firmly hope that we can achieve a better solution and we will be working strenuously to that end,’ he said.
The Irish PM added: ‘There are sensitives there and I certainly heard what Arlene had to say today, the DUP is the DUP, it’s a unionist party, it’s not going to be told what to do by the Irish government, but the door is always open and the phone is always on.
‘I am always willing to speak to her or anyone in the DUP to offer any clarifications or any assurances that they may wish to have.’
‘Of course there will be consequences. We could not as Unionists support a deal that broke up the United Kingdom.’