DUP slam government’s Brexit legal advice as ‘devastating’

The deputy leader of the DUP described the government’s full legal advice on Brexit as "devastating".

It is a major blow to Theresa May whose government relies on the Northern Irish party to prop up its minority administration.

The DUP are unhappy with the EU divorce deal’s so-called backstop provision which will align Northern Ireland more closely with the European Union than the rest of the United Kingdom.

"Devastating," Nigel Dodds said on Twitter after the advice was published. "The legal advice just published proves NI (Northern Ireland) would be in full EU Customs Union while GB (Great Britain) is not."

The backstop would come into effect if no other way can be found to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

Read the full Brexit legal advice document (don’t worry, it’s only six pages)

The government was forced to publish the legal advice in full after being found in contempt of parliament for failing to do so.

Mrs May also faced accusations from the DUP that the backstop had been based on a "false assertion" and asked why she had allowed the EU to use it as a "negotiating ploy".

The Prime Minister said it was not a negotiating ploy, explaining: "What it is is our commitment as a UK Government to the people of Northern Ireland."

She added: "People need to know it is beyond a political assertion that there is that commitment there to the people of Northern Ireland to ensure that we have no hard border."

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