Fri, 28 January 2022

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DUP 'could team up with Labour' in Commons bid to kill off Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

DUP 'could team up with Labour' in Commons bid to kill off Boris Johnson's Brexit deal
2 min read

The DUP could unite with Labour to back a customs union amendment that would effectively scupper Boris Johnson's Brexit plans, it has been reported.

Senior DUP figures told The Telegraph that the party was mulling "guerrilla warfare" in a bid to kill off the Prime Minister's deal when it comes back before the House of Commons.

Ahead of a fresh attempt by Mr Johnson to hold a vote on his EU agreement, Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer on Sunday confirmed that Labour would push for amendments that could force the Prime Minister to shelve the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Labour has confirmed it will try to attach a customs union and a second referendum to Mr Johnson's agreement - teeing up a major Commons battle over the pact.

And Sir Keir made clear that his party would be willing to work with the DUP, who this weekend voted against the Government on a bid to force him to seek a further Brexit delay, to achieve that.

"I say to any MP, but particularly the DUP, if you want to work with us to make this situation better, our door is open," the Labour frontbencher said.

A senior DUP figure told the Telegraph there were "multiple scenarios with multiple options for us to resist Johnson’s anti-UK deal".

And they added: "It will be parliamentary guerilla warfare." 

Another DUP source meanwhile refused to rule out backing a customs union amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

"Clearly that would be one way we could look at addressing our concerns," they told the paper.

"There will be some very grown up conversations over the next 48 hours and we will be looking at all the options we have available."

The DUP's Brexit spokesperson Sammy Wilson on Sunday reiterated his anger at the Prime Minister over his EU deal.

The unionist party - formerly allied with the Government in the Commons - fears the agreement will impose major regulatory differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Although he made clear the DUP "does not seek a second referendum", Mr Wilson warned: "The people of the United Kingdom were asked whether the UK should leave the EU, not whether Great Britain should leave Northern Ireland behind."

And he added: "We want to leave as one nation. That remains our goal. If the Prime Minister remains willing to achieve that outcome he will find DUP MPs as willing partners in that project."

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