LATE-NIGHT TALKS between EU and UK negotiators resulted in a new agreement being reached between both parties exactly two weeks before the Brexit deadline.
While the negotiations are yet to be approved by the UK Parliament, the EU are said to be "pretty much ready" to finalise the legal text of the deal, according to the BBC's Europe editor Katya Adler.
But the optimism which came with the new arrangement was short-lived, as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) immediately released a statement claiming they "could not support what is being suggested".
According to RTE, the complex arrangement managed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland by instead placing the customs border in the middle of the Irish sea.
The negotiations concluded that Northern Ireland would follow Britain's customs laws, but would be subject to EU rules with regards to tariffs, and would also remain in the single market for industrial goods and food products.
The arrangement included exemption for personal goods of citizens travelling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, at the discretion of a joint committee of EU and UK officials, and a four-year time limit before Northern Ireland could decide to opt out of the arrangement, at which point a new solution to avoid a hard border in Ireland would have to be found.
Just after 6.45am this morning, however, the DUP immediately shut down the possibility of this particular Withdrawal Agreement working.
The statement in full reads:
"DUP statement from Arlene Foster MLA and Nigel Dodds MP
We have been involved in ongoing discussions with the Government.
As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.
We will continue to work with the Government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom."
— DUP (@duponline) October 17, 2019
This objection means that a stalemate within UK government is back-- and just hours before Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to appear at an EU summit to get approval for the newly-negotiated agreement.
The UK are due to leave the EU in 14 days.