DUP sources have said the party cannot support the Prime Minister’s deal in tonight’s vote, which effectively kills off any chance of it getting Commons’ backing.
Sky News correspondent David Blevins confirmed that a source close to the party said they did not see how the party could support the amended deal following Geoffrey Cox’s legal advice.
Cox announced today that the UK would still be trapped in the backstop even after the concessions May negotiated last night, which has left the deal dead in the water for many MPs.
A DUP spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister set out a clear objective for legally binding change which would command a majority in the House of Commons in line with the Brady amendment.
“We recognise that the Prime Minister has made limited progress in her discussions with the European Union.
“However in our view sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time.
“Having carefully considered the published material as well as measuring what has been achieved against our own fundamental tests, namely the impact of the backstop on the constitutional and economic integrity of the Union of the United Kingdom, it is clear that the risks remain that the UK would be unable to lawfully exit the backstop were it to be activated.”
Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer had warned earlier that “nothing had changed” from the first deal agreed in November last year.
Having studied the documents, he confirmed this morning that there is unlikely to be changes sufficient to enable the Attorney General to change the central plank of his December legal advice.