Northern Ireland news

Deputy PM says no deal Brexit is 'threat' to the union

David Lidington said a chaoticBrexit could lead to a break-up of the union. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

THRESA May will today make a third attempt to push her withdrawal deal, including the border backstop, through Westminster.

On the day the UK was originally schedule to leave the EU, MPs will vote on the deal they have already rejected twice – but minus the political declaration covering the future relationship with Brussels.

In a move which left event the most seasoned parliamentary observers perplexed, the Tory government decoupled the withdrawal agreement from the political declaration to ensure the speaker would agree to the motion

Passing the withdrawal agreement alone would allow the UK to qualify for an extension in Brexit talks to May 22 under the terms set down by the European Council last week.

The vote comes as Mrs May's deputy warned that a “chaotic, disorganised Brexit" could ultimately lead to a break-up of the union

Speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce conference in London, David Lidington said: "Such a no-deal exit would undoubtedly mean disruption to businesses and I believe would also be a threat to the integrity of the union of the UK itself,” he warned.

He told the BBC that there was no longer a unionist majority at Stormont and moderate nationalists had become unsettled by Brexit and the lack of devolved institutions.

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