Backstop must be removed if DUP to support May - Foster

How the UK’s border is currently managed

How the UK’s border is currently managed

"The Titanic springs to mind, and now is the time to point the iceberg ahead", Johnson, the U.K.'s former Foreign Secretary, said in a speech at the Democratic Unionist Party conference in Belfast on Saturday.

Her proposed divorce treaty and accompanying political declaration are due to be endorsed in Brussels on Sunday by Mrs May and the other 27 European Union leaders, but there is no guarantee the same courtesy will be extended at home.

She added: "We shouldn't just accept an outcome for the sake of it - we should try to get a deal that is good for everybody". But Northern Ireland will also keep numerous EU's rules - and that means added checks on goods arriving from mainland Britain.

She also insisted that her party was not looking to campaign against Brexit, and tried to quell fears that if the deal is voted down we will be left with a no-deal.

"There is very much a border down the Irish Sea as a result of this and that's why we can't support this deal", she said. "There is no need for the Irish backstop so let's get rid of it".

On the issue of her party's agreement with the minority Tory government at Westminster, Mrs Foster will say the DUP has been "indispensable" in securing a majority on Brexit votes.

The DUP leader said there were no circumstances she would order her 10 MPs to vote for the current deal.

He added: "If you read the agreement you can see that we're actually witnessing the birth of a new country: United Kingdom bracket NI, or UKNI".

Asked if she would support the prime minister if a parliamentary defeat triggered a confidence vote in the government, Foster added: "We will have to see what happens at that time. I think this deal is actually uniting people against it".

Theresa May with European Council President Donald Tusk
Theresa May with European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels

'What we should do is wait to see what develops in that respect'.

The backup plan being formulated by ministers would be a "Norway option" in which Britain stays in the European Economic Area (EEA), the Sunday Telegraph reported.

"Well, there are conversations going on right across government", she said.

"What I'm saying to the government is this deal, this current deal, does not allow us to take back control".

"She (Theresa May) is a unionist, but this deal goes against everything she has said about all of that".

"Those matters are devolved to Northern Ireland to make decisions on", Foster said.

"But global trade, customs, the single market, those things stay at Westminster. Those things are kept in the national parliament and what this document does, what the worldwide treaty that has just been agreed today does, is make a difference between us in terms of those global issues and I think that's very important to us". "I recognise we are negotiating with a fatigue, there comes a time when everybody is exhausted and just wants to get on with it but we shouldn't accept the outcome for the sake of it", she added.

In an interview with The Times newspaper published on Saturday, DUP leader Arlene Foster suggested a government led by the Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn - a longtime sympathiser with the DUP's arch rival Sinn Fein - might be preferable to the deal.

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