Northern Irish businesses put pressure on DUP by backing Brexit deal

BELFAST (Reuters) - Northern Irish business groups lined up to back Prime Minister Theresa May's draft Brexit agreement on Friday and put pressure on her allies from the British province to drop their staunch opposition to the plan. May has faced widespread disapproval of the withdrawal deal unveiled this week both from within her Conservative party and from the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) who prop up her minority government. May hopes the support that began to emerge from UK business on Friday will help her sell the deal

Reuters November 17, 2018 04:05:28 IST
Northern Irish businesses put pressure on DUP by backing Brexit deal

Northern Irish businesses put pressure on DUP by backing Brexit deal

BELFAST (Reuters) - Northern Irish business groups lined up to back Prime Minister Theresa May's draft Brexit agreement on Friday and put pressure on her allies from the British province to drop their staunch opposition to the plan.

May has faced widespread disapproval of the withdrawal deal unveiled this week both from within her Conservative party and from the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) who prop up her minority government.

May hopes the support that began to emerge from UK business on Friday will help her sell the deal. In Northern Ireland, four major business groups welcomed the "much needed clarity" brought by the agreement that could offer Northern Irish firms closer alignment with the EU.

"While by no means perfect, it provides a platform to move onto the critical next stage of a comprehensive future trade deal," said a joint statement from the Confederation of British Industry Northern Ireland, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors and Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.

"We have been clear that a no-deal Brexit would be deeply damaging and would represent a very bad outcome for businesses, consumers and the economy as a whole."

Their support follows endorsements from the province's Food and Drink Association, main manufacturing body and crucially, Ulster Farmers Union, a group traditionally close to unionists which called on the DUP to vote in favour of it.

In response to their support on Thursday, senior DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson, whose job it is to ensure the party votes as one, said they were entitled to their opinion but that he did not think the groups had read the text in full.

The so-called Northern Ireland backstop, which aims to keep the border between the British province and EU member Ireland open, would all but leave Northern Ireland inside the EU's single market if an eventual British/EU trade deal cannot maintain the currently frictionless frontier.

The DUP has threatened to pull its support from the minority government if the backstop means the province is treated differently from mainland Britain, fearing it would amount to an "annexation" by the EU and boost calls for a united Ireland.

(Writing by Padraic Halpin in Dublin; Editing by Peter Graff)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.