DUP deny row with Theresa May is halting Brexit progress

'Send help': May's extraordinary Brexit speech reveals her unusual tactic

One of the main sticking points in Brexit negotiations is the backstop.

British Prime Minister Theresa May rejected the previous European Union proposal on how to avoid a "hard border" on the United Kingdom's only land border with the European Union, saying it would effectively slice Northern Ireland away from mainland Britain, a position staunchly backed by her pro-British allies in Belfast.

"It (a border down the Irish Sea) is something I will never agree to". "The fact is that both Theresa May and the Labour Party have said no British prime minister could accept such a concept".

"We don't have a confidence and supply agreement with any one party in Northern Ireland", said Coveney.

However Mr Dodds said that the claims were not true.

"The really sticky issue is can we find a solution on the [Northern Ireland border] backstop".

He said Sinn Féin's comments around a border poll had spread fear among unionists.

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"The EU should be clear: I will not overturn the result of the referendum".

With just over six months to go before Britain leaves the European Union, reaching agreement on a backstop arrangement for the border between Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland remains the thorniest issue in negotiations.

Referring to criticism of the backstop, Coveney moved to provide assurances that his government won't sign anything that doesn't guarantee British commitment to Northern Ireland.

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said Brexit negotiations are entering a "rocky patch" over the coming weeks but he believes a deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union can be reached.

Minister Coveney emphasised that Ireland is not seeking to threaten or undermine the constitutional integrity of the UK.

He added that he trusted Mrs May will not, and is not, going back on the promises she made last December.

Elsewhere, Coveney dismissed the possibility of former UK Foreign Secretary and noted Brexit supporter Boris Johnson once again rising to power.

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