Updated Oct 17, 2019 - World

Johnson's EU Brexit deal plan rejected by key U.K. government ally

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson shuffles his papers as he delivers his keynote speech

Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's minority government partner, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, said in a statement Thursday that it can't back the Brexit deal he's negotiated with the European Union "as things stand."

Why it matters: It's a major blow to Johnson as the DUP's support is vital to his plan to get an agreement approved by the British Parliament. The United Kingdom is due to exit the EU on Oct. 31.

The big picture: Per Axios' Shane Savitsky, a major sticking point in negotiations had been the Irish backstop — which aims to prevent a hard border with customs controls between the EU member country Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K. It's the only land border the EU and U.K. would share.

  • AP reports that negotiators worked into the night Wednesday on regulations concerning customs and value-added tax, which would "regulate trade in goods" at the border.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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