DUP refuse to support proposed Brexit deal "as things stand" 3 months ago

DUP refuse to support proposed Brexit deal "as things stand"

It's going down to the wire.

Despite room for optimism on Wednesday, a Brexit deal continues to hang in the balance.

Late on Wednesday night, it appeared an agreement had indeed been struck in relation to how customs and consent would be managed in a post-Brexit landscape.

It has been recognised that the last major stumbling block with regards to getting a deal over the line concerns the satisfaction of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Initial reports on Wednesday suggested that the DUP had agreed to terms, only for DUP chief Arlene Foster to shoot down such claims, noting that her party was holding out for "a sensible deal which unionists and nationalists can support."

In a statement issued by Foster and Nigel Dodds on Thursday morning, DUP leaders categorically stated that they "could not support" the latest proposed Brexit deal in its current form.

"We have been involved in ongoing discussions with the [UK] government," the statement began.

"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.

"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."

Talks between UK and European Union negotiators will now enter a further critical phase as representatives of the 28 member states gather on Thursday.