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Brexit: Boris Johnson to discuss options with DUP leaders

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Brexit: Boris Johnson to discuss options with DUP leaders

No 10 says the PM is “working very hard” for a deal in the wake of the controversial suspension of Parliament.

Boris Johnson has said “there is a way” of getting a Brexit deal as he prepares to discuss his options with Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster.

The PM, whose attempts to force an early election have been blocked by MPs, said “loads of people” wanted an agreement but he was prepared to leave without one if “absolutely necessary”.

The DUP said any solution which led to UK trade borders was a “non-runner”.

Parliament was dramatically suspended for five weeks earlier on Tuesday.

MPs are not now due to return to Westminster until 14 October after Parliament was controversially prorogued.

Amid unprecedented scenes in the Commons early on Tuesday, some MPs protested against the suspension with signs saying “silenced” while shouting: “Shame on you.”

Opposition MPs said a law blocking a no-deal Brexit on 31 October must be enforced first before there could be any election.

Mr Johnson has insisted he will not ask the EU for a further delay but, after legislation passed by MPs, he will be legally obliged to do so unless Parliament approves an agreement by 19 October.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised a further referendum on Brexit with a “credible Leave option” versus Remain if he wins the next general election – but the party is unlikely to commit to one or the other in its manifesto.

Key sticking point

Ahead of their talks in Downing Street, the DUP insisted their influence over Brexit events was “not waning” despite Mr Johnson’s government losing its Commons majority.

The party, which propped up Theresa May’s government since the 2017 election, said it would not support any revised version of the former PM’s Brexit agreement which separated Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

The Irish border has proved a key sticking point in attempts to agree a Brexit deal between the UK and the EU.

The government has indicated it could support harmonised rules for the agriculture and food sector to prevent the need for any sanitary and other health checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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