Theresa May phoned Arlene Foster in a last ditch attempt to get backing for her deal
Ms Foster insisted she had not changed her stance, leading Mrs May to cancel her proposed third meaningful vote today. The Prime Minister was then served fresh humiliation yesterday after the Brexit process was wrenched from her clutches by Parliament, who voted for the Letwin Amendment. Support from the DUP is critical to Mrs May’s hopes of getting parliament to approve her Brexit plan.
However, the Northern Irish party's leaders have been unimpressed with the way Mrs May and her team have negotiated with the EU.
They believe they will have to be closely involved if the Government is to leave with a deal that keeps Northern Ireland closely aligned with Britain.
Mrs Foster told the Prime Minister in no uncertain terms she would not change her party's stance to vote against the deal, if as expected it comes before the Commons this week.
Referring to their position on the meaningful vote, a DUP source said: “The position remains unchanged.”
Nigel Dodds has outlined the DUP's stance on Mrs May's deal
The Prime Minister has enraged pro-Leave MPs and ministers from Northern Ireland by implying preparations for the Irish border in the event of a no deal had not proposed because the Northern Ireland Assembly has been suspended.
She said: “I am conscious of my duties as Prime Minister to all parts of our United Kingdom and of the damage to that union leaving without a deal could do when one part of it is without devolved government and unable therefore to prepare properly.”
Sammy Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesman, accused Mrs May of using the Irish border as an excuse for failing to deliver Brexit.
He said: “When are you going to stop using Northern Ireland as an excuse?
Theresa May is desperate to get her deal passed by Parliament
“Do you realise that the importance of this agreement to delivering Brexit, and also to the union of the United Kingdom, is such that we will not be used in a scare tactic to push this through?”
The DUP’s leader in Westminster Nigel Dodds said: “The prime minister has known for some considerable time, and so has the house, that March 29 was the target date, so why haven’t appropriate preparations been made?
“This is a fundamental lack of preparation and the Government’s entirely responsible for that, if that’s the case.”
DUP figures are already turning their thoughts to the next confidence and supply agreement, which will be raised by the party over the next two months.
Mrs May’s government is highly dependent on the 10 votes of the DUP.