Steve Baker issues Brexit ultimatum as he tells DUP to accept UK deal

Brexit: Starmer says there’s ‘no going back’

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Steve Baker has issued Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) with an ultimatum. The Northern Ireland minister warned the party to accept EU-UK power-sharing negotiations or face another round of elections. He delivered his warning at the British-Irish parliamentary assembly in Ireland’s County Cavan as the DUP and majority Sinn Fein remain locked in a Stormont stalemate.

While Mr Baker said the UK Government would “press all parties” to reform the Northern Ireland executive, he singled out the DUP.

He said the party, “in particular”, should accept “that this Government and whichever PM the UK returns will continue our policy of reaching an agreement acceptable to all sides”.

He added: “We want the DUP to accept that, and re-form the executive in order to avoid an election”.

Otherwise, he warned, Westminster would “call an election” and “we will call it to get it done as soon as it is feasible”.

Northern Ireland’s Government depends on a mutual agreement for power-sharing in Stormont, its national Parliament. 

While Sinn Fein won a commanding majority during elections in May, the DUP has maintained a boycott over the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol.

DUP leadership has promised to maintain that boycott, with Sir Jeffrey Donaldson promising that “protocol debris” must be removed. 

He told party members in an email that power sharing “doesn’t work” if “one community is not on board”.

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