March 28, 2019 / 11:19 PM / in 24 days

Softer Brexit now possible, not DUP's priority: deputy leader

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds walks outside the Houses of Parliament, following the Brexit votes the previous evening, in London, Britain, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The deputy leader of the Northern Irish party propping up Prime Minister Theresa May’s government said a Brexit outcome that keeps the United Kingdom more closely aligned to the European Union is now a possibility.

“From our point of view, the concern and priority for us and Northern Ireland isn’t necessarily the form of Brexit,” Nigel Dodds, whose party will not back May in Friday’s third attempt to pass her divorce deal in parliament, told BBC Northern Ireland.

“It’s making sure that whatever form of Brexit we have, that those trade barriers between ourselves and our main market in the rest of the United Kingdom, the constitutional issues, that those are protected and we will be seeking a stronger role in the second stage (of talks) to avoid some of the problems we have faced in the first stage.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Sandra Maler

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