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DUP agreement will end 'no deal' Brexit talk

By Pete Madeley | General Election 2017 | Published:

The DUP deal to prop up Theresa May's government will bring an end to the pro-hard Brexit mantra of 'no deal is better than a bad deal', according to a Black Country MP.

Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden

Pat McFadden says DUP leader Arlene Foster will be 'very keen' to secure terms with the EU that allows barrier free trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East argues that 'no deal' - a scenario where Britain leaves the EU without any formal agreement with the other member states - could cripple the Northern Irish economy.

It comes as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon voiced concerns over the prospect of a 'grubby deal' between the Tories and the DUP showing 'disregard' for the Northern Irish peace process.

Talks are still ongoing between the Prime Minister and Mrs Foster, although no agreement is expected to be reached until next week.

Mr McFadden, who is a member of the cross-party Brexit Select Committee, said: “The fact that The Conservatives are reliant on cobbling together a deal with the DUP to survive in Government shows how badly they miscalculated in calling an early election for no better reason than enjoying a big opinion poll lead.

“One of the big implications could be for the type of Brexit deal the Government negotiates.

"The DUP supported Brexit but they will be very keen to secure a future trading arrangement with the EU which allows barrier free trade between Northern ireland and the Republic of Ireland, especially in food and agricultural products.

"This should mean we hear a lot less of the 'no deal is better than a bad deal' mantra from ministers, because no deal would mean big tariffs on these kind of products and have other negative consequences for trade.

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"Whatever other consequences the deal with the DUP has, it should increase pressure on the Government to secure a free trade agreement with the rest of the EU in the talks to come.”

Ms Sturgeon said: "I want to record my deep-seated concern and, I believe, the deep-seated concern of many not just in Scotland but across the UK right now at the prospect of some sort of grubby deal between the Tories and the DUP to allow Theresa May to cling to office.

"I don't think that kind of deal, particularly if it is not completely and utterly transparent, is in the national interest in any way, shape or form.

"I say that not just because of some of the views of the DUP that, perhaps not all of us, but many of us feel deeply uncomfortable about, but I also say that because of a real concern about the disregard that is being shown for the Northern Irish peace process."

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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