Arlene Foster accuses Boris Johnson of a ‘betrayal’ over Brexit plans for Irish Sea customs border
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Arlene Foster accuses Boris Johnson of a ‘betrayal’ over Brexit plans for Irish Sea customs border

ARLENE FOSTER has accused Boris Johnson of “betrayal” after he admitted post-Brexit checks would be required on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, even if they were destined for the Republic.

The DUP leader told BBC’S Today Programme that the UK Prime Minister “broke his word” on the terms of the withdrawal agreement, which he previously said would not include a customs border in the Irish Sea.

Asked if the deal now represents a “betrayal”, Ms Foster said: "I think it says more about the person who broke their word, than me and leadership of the unionist party, the betrayal."

Mr Johnson previously admitted some checks would be required during an interview with Sky News this past Sunday, December 8.

Though he insisted his Brexit deal would not create trading friction in the region, analysis leaked by Labour, reportedly from the Treasury, indicated there would be extra paperwork for exporters “at minimum”.

Ms Foster also confirmed that, following discussions with customs officials, she had been informed that there would definitely have to be checks under Mr Johnson’s plans.

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Though the DUP leader defended the decision to prop up the Conservative government, insisting it was "right for the leadership of unionism in Northern Ireland to work with the prime minister of the day" she expressed doubt at taking the prime minister at his word again.

“Well, once bitten, twice shy,” she told the BBC. “We will certainly be looking for the detail of what this is going to look like.”

The DUP leader also expressed concern at the prospects of free-flowing trade in the region.

“If we are to have what has been proposed, then it wouldn’t be free-flowing trade, and that of course causes us great concern.”

Though Ms Foster endorsed Mr Johnson’s election mantra of “get Brexit Done” she warned: “You cannot leave part of the UK in a worse-off position and leave us in a situation where we have checks between different parts of the UK.”