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The DUP is effectively on strike tonight and is expected to abstain again on a series of crucial Budget votes later.

The party’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said the Prime Minister had to ‘look beyond’ her draft Brexit deal because it is opposed on all sides of the House.

The DUP said it wanted to avoid a no deal Brexit but warned Mrs May she would lose the party’s support if she did not rethink.

The PM only has a majority in the Commons with DUP support under a confidence and supply deal promising the party’s 10 votes on Budget, Brexit and confidence issues.

Last night the DUP abstained on most Finance Bill votes and even voted with Labour on one – slashing the Government majority to five.

The party's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds (left with leader Arlene Foster) said the Prime Minister had to 'look beyond' her draft Brexit deal because it is opposed on all sides of the House

The party's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds (left with leader Arlene Foster) said the Prime Minister had to 'look beyond' her draft Brexit deal because it is opposed on all sides of the House

The party’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds (left with leader Arlene Foster) said the Prime Minister had to ‘look beyond’ her draft Brexit deal because it is opposed on all sides of the House

Warning the with-holding of votes will continue, Mr Dodds said: ‘The Confidence and Supply Agreement was based on shared objectives for strengthening and enhancing the Union and an exit from the European Union that benefits all parts of the United Kingdom.

‘We have kept to our word in relation to the Confidence and Supply Agreement, but even Cabinet members have found themselves having to resign because this deal does not represent those shared objectives in relation to the Union.

‘The Government will require DUP support to deliver its domestic agenda. We will continue to use our influence for the good of everyone across the United Kingdom.’ 

The BBC reported the DUP abstentions would continue on tonight’s Finance Bill debate, set to cover FOBTs and tax avoidance.  

A senior Tory MP told MailOnline said the votes were a signal the government might not last long even if Theresa May somehow managed to force her Brexit deal through Parliament.

They said: ‘Without the DUP we are toast.’ 

In return for the confidence and supply deal, the Government promised an extra £1billion in spending in Northern Ireland – but only £430million of it has been handed over, Commons research shows.

It could mean the province risks losing £570million it secured for Northern Ireland as its price for propping up Theresa May in No 10.  

The DUP has said there is ‘serious trouble’ with Brexit deal, which risks leaving Northern Ireland on a different regulatory footing to the rest of the UK – one of party leader Arlene Foster’s ‘blood red lines’. 

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said Mrs May’s deal with Brussels breached a ‘fundamental’ assurance that Northern Ireland would not be separated constitutionally or economically from the rest of the UK.

After the votes in the Commons last night, he told Newsnight: ‘We had to do something to show our displeasure.’ 

‘She has broken all of those promises – to the people of the United Kingdom, to her own party and to the people of Northern Ireland.’


In an address at the Conference of British Industry’s annual conference yesterday, Mrs May reminded her critics that people’s jobs were on the line if there is no Brexit deal

While the Government won the votes on the Finance Bill, the DUP’s failure to support it in the first two votes were a blow to Mrs May’s authority.

When the party voted with Labour – on a demand for a review of the impact of the Budget on child poverty – the Government won by just five votes.

The Government would have lost if more Labour MPs had turned up – 30, including Jeremy Corbyn, were missed the vote with permission from the whips. 

The DUP is pessimistic that she will amend the Brexit deal in any significant way and sees it as driving a regulatory wedge between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Mrs Foster voiced her frustration last week that her party had not been allowed to see the draft of the deal before it was debated by Cabinet.

In return for the confidence and supply deal, the Government promised an extra £1billion in spending in Northern Ireland - but only £430million of it has been handed over, Commons research shows (pictured) 

In return for the confidence and supply deal, the Government promised an extra £1billion in spending in Northern Ireland - but only £430million of it has been handed over, Commons research shows (pictured) 

In return for the confidence and supply deal, the Government promised an extra £1billion in spending in Northern Ireland – but only £430million of it has been handed over, Commons research shows (pictured) 

Downing Street said yesterday the Prime Minister was, for example, looking to improve the provisions for security co-operation.

In an address at the CBI’s annual conference yesterday, Mrs May reminded her critics that people’s jobs were on the line if there is no Brexit deal.

She said: ‘We are not talking about political theory, but the reality of people’s lives and livelihoods. Jobs depend on us getting this right.

‘What we have agreed unashamedly puts our future economic success, and the livelihoods of working families up and down this country, first.’

She added: ‘Don’t just listen to the politicians. Listen to what business is saying, listen to what business that is providing your jobs, and ensuring that you have that income that puts food on the table for your family, is saying. And business is saying we want a good deal with the EU.’