June 1, 2018 / 3:53 PM / 18 days ago

Northern Ireland's DUP dismisses idea of joint UK, EU status

BELFAST (Reuters) - The Northern Irish party that supports Britain’s minority government dismissed the idea of giving Northern Ireland joint European Union and UK status after Brexit as at best contradictory, one of its lawmakers said, adding that the idea had not been raised with the party.

The plan, aimed at allowing the British province to trade freely with both countries, is one of several being discussed in a bid to break a deadlock in Brexit talks and may not be proposed to the EU, a government official said on Friday.

“These convoluted arrangements only arise because of the government’s failure to make it clear to the EU that regardless of EU negotiators’ attempts to keep us in the Customs Union and the Single Market, we are leaving,” Democratic Unionist Party MP Sammy Wilson said in a statement.

“Instead of moving from one set of half-cooked ideas to the other, it is now time for the government to put down its foot and make it clear to EU negotiators that the Prime Minister stands by her commitment that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Reporting by Amanda Ferguson, editing by Padraic Halpin

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