‘There has to be consequences’ if Theresa May breaks DUP red lines, says DUP Brexit spokesman

‘There has to be consequences’ if Theresa May breaks DUP red lines, says DUP Brexit spokesman

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Democratic Unionist Party’s Brexit Spokesman Sammy Wilson has said that “there has to be consequences” if Theresa May does break the DUP’s red lines as the party threatens to vote down her Budget.

Mr Wilson, the DUP MP for East Antrim told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “We are working very hard to ensure that we don’t have to reach that position.

“But we do have a two-sided agreement, one which we have certain obligations and one that the Government has certain obligations.

“If those obligations are not fulfilled on the Government side then there has to be consequences.

“We have simply spelt out what some of those consequences would be.

“I hope the Prime Minister will not go down the route, which has been suggested. She is being forced by the EU.”


A new challenge

This comes as Theresa May faces a fresh challenge to her Brexit plans from her DUP allies, who are threatening to vote against the Budget if she breaks their red lines.

The radical move is one of the options being considered by the DUP if attempts to nail down a deal with Brussels include any proposals that would leave Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the UK, the Press Association understands.

The DUP agreed a "confidence and supply" deal to support Mrs May after last year's general election and losing the party's support in the Commons would mean possible defeat on the budget at the end of October and a no-confidence vote.

In a move seen by some as a warning shot, DUP MPs failed to back the Government in voting against a Labour amendment to an Agriculture Bill outlining post-Brexit reforms on Wednesday night. Despite their abstention, it was still defeated by 59 votes.


‘The easy alternative’

DUP leader Arlene Foster with Prime Minister Theresa May 

When asked about what the DUP would do if Theresa May did receive a vote of no confidence, or a General Election was called, Mr Wilson said there was an “easy alternative”.

He added: “The easy alternative is for the Government to choose what is right for the United Kingdom and to seek a deal that is right for the United Kingdom, rather than roll over every time the EU puts a barrier in its way.

“That is what has happened so far and it is what has caused the internal difficulties for the Prime Minister within her own party.

“She hasn’t just annoyed us, she has annoyed a sizeable section of her own MPs and a very sizeable section of the people on the ground of her own party.”