Theresa May was accused of a “total betrayal” amid claims she is set to back a Brexit border in the Irish Sea.
The Prime Minister has written to the DUP , triggering fears she will cave into Brussels’ demands for a Northern Ireland-only “backstop to the backstop” in case of a no-deal exit.
In the letter, obtained by The Times, Mrs May said: “I am clear that I could not accept there being any circumstances or conditions in which that ‘backstop to the backstop’, which would break up the UK customs territory, could come in to force.”
The DUP believes the wording means the measure will be included in the Brexit divorce deal – despite Mrs May’s insistence it will never come into effect.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “The Prime Minister’s letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious union and for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole of the UK. It appears the Prime Minister is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with Northern Ireland in the EU single market regulatory regime.”
The DUP’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson accused Mrs May of a “total betrayal”, claiming she had broken “promises she made.”
Meanwhile, the EU is set to demand ongoing access to UK fishing waters while Britain remains in the customs union as the price of a UK-wide backstop called for by the PM.
One EU diplomat said: “It is paramount the UK gives assurances on the access of the European fleet to UK waters before the EU can agree to a U.K.-wide backstop.”
Another told the Telegraph: “There can be a customs union, but there must be rules to ensure that EU fishermen will be able to continue to fish in UK waters.”