October 2, 2018 / 12:01 PM / 8 months ago

Northern Irish DUP leader: We cannot accept different regulations to rest of UK

DUP leader Arlene Foster watches Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May deliver a speech at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, July 20, 2018. Charles McQuillan/Pool via Reuters

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on whose support British Prime Minister Theresa May relies on to govern, said she could no accept different regulation in the province to the rest of the UK after Brexit.

The issue of how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland the Irish Republic is the main sticking point in talks between May and European Leaders on securing a deal for when Britain leaves the bloc next March.

Asked if she could ever accept different regulation, even as a backstop, Foster told Reuters: “No. This argument was put last year that the backstop really didn’t mean anything and it was just there as an insurance policy and now it has become the whole focus of the negotiations.

“That sort of argument has gone now.”

Foster also queried why the EU was prepared to accept a technological solution that would work in the Irish Sea but not one that would work on the land border.

Reporting by William James, writing by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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