February 5, 2019 / 8:41 AM / 3 months ago

DUP's Foster says Irish backstop is toxic, would back May without it

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster attends "A Better Deal" event in London, Britain, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

LONDON (Reuters) - The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party which props up British Prime Minister Theresa May’s minority government said the Irish backstop in her Brexit deal was toxic but she could back the agreement if it was replaced.

“We will be reiterating our opposition to the current backstop and the fact that parliament has now backed that position means she has a clear mandate to go back to Brussels,” Arlene Foster, who will meet May in Belfast, told BBC radio.

“Parliament’s mandate is to replace the backstop, the current backstop ... is toxic to those of us living in Northern Ireland. If the backstop is dealt with in the Withdrawal Agreement ... we will support the prime minister. I don’t want to see a no-deal scenario.”

Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Elizabeth Piper

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