NI retailers can not afford ‘catastrophic cost’ of a no deal Brexit


British Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Northern Ireland and Wales as part of a tour of the United Kingdom created to rally support for her widely criticised Brexit deal before a vote in parliament.

'Some of that money has already been delivered.

One says that the United Kingdom would also need to join a customs union with the EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland, as well as enter a new negotiation with the EU after the Withdrawal Agreement was ratified.

May will meet Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on this morning before heading to France where she will meet President Emmanuel Macron, who is one of EU's the most hardline leaders when it comes to Brexit.

In his speech, Johnson called for the United Kingdom to withhold at least half of the €39 billion ($44.2bn) Brexit withdrawal payment owed to Brussels, and that the United Kingdom should "junk the backstop" - the mechanism that aims to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This is about the future of Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister will look to sell her much criticised deal in meetings with producers, employers and political leaders.

The DUP has found common cause with Tory Brexiteers over the "backstop" element of the the PM's plan with both refusing to back it.

The prime minister will also meet with the five main political parties, to urge them to get behind the deal - which has received support from major employers and trade associations concerned about the implications of crashing out of the European Union without any deal. Without Foster, May would not have been able to form a majority government, and while the coalition has held to date, the Brexit deal is pushing the partnership to the limits. "Certainly not in terms of Northern Ireland, because we stay within the European Union structure and we will have no say on those rules - we will have a democratic deficit, we have to take the rules but we have no way of influencing those".

"It is clear there is no enthusiasm for this withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons", the former first minister said. What we will be saying very clearly to her that she needs to get rid of the backstop.

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"With higher costs and half the discretionary income of GB households, we can not afford to absorb the catastrophic cost rises that a cliff edge no deal would bring", he said.

"That leaves an election, second referendum or no deal as the only options", he said, "No deal would be disastrous for Northern Ireland, but the DUP wouldn't be unduly troubled by any of those options, unless - as is just possible - a no-deal exit plays badly with its own pro-Brexit support base".

Deputy leader Nigel Dodds warned again Saturday there would be "consequences" if May continued to pursue the current deal and the party's support was "a two way street".

"The reality is that if we are to secure a better outcome than is now on offer then the only option is to look beyond this current draft withdrawal agreement", she added.

Ms Foster said the constitutional implications of the deal could not be ignored.

The Prime Minister was also presented with some poultry.

"It is incumbent therefore on all Conservatives in Parliament who recognise the importance of continuing stability and who wish to see the Government deliver its agenda to ensure it is honoured in full".

"Johnson will add to the sense of aggravation", said University of Liverpool professor Jonathan Tonge, who co-authored a 2014 book on the DUP.