Foster warns against dangers of bad Brexit ahead of European Union summit

The DUP does not want any regulatory barriers on the Irish border but Michel Barnier above the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator insists the checks would have to form part of any backstop

The DUP does not want any regulatory barriers on the Irish border but Michel Barnier above the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator insists the checks would have to form part of any backstop

British and European Union negotiators making headway on the Irish border hope for a Brexit deal breakthrough on Monday, diplomats said, though the British prime minister's Northern Ireland ally has stoked uncertainty by warning it could vote against her.

In a direct message to Mrs May, she urged her not to follow Margaret Thatcher in accepting a deal she later regretted - referring to the former prime minister's part in the Anglo-Irish agreement.

Out the door? Could Andrea Leadsom resign from the cabinet over the backstop deal?

And The Observer reports that leaked emails reveal Mrs May has been told that Mrs Foster is "ready" to trigger a no-deal Brexit and now regards this as the "likeliest outcome" following a "hostile and difficult" meeting with Mr Barnier.

Only the look on her face revealed the prime minister's feelings as one after another of a select group of her ministers lined up to denounce the Brexit deal her team had been negotiating with Brussels.

Just six months before Britain is due to leave the European Union, some other British officials have voiced more caution, saying "big issues" still lie in the way of any agreement.

"This is critical", Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up Theresa May's government, said on Twitter.

In the worst-case scenario of Britain failing to agree on any divorce deal, London warned that the single electricity market shared between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic may cease.

"She described Barnier as being hard and hostile in her meeting today..." the leaked email reports.

He added: "Let's hope that we get a deal, but in the case of a no-deal scenario we will have to manage that, but our aim is to get a sensible deal but one that respects the integrity of the United Kingdom".

Meanwhile, pro-EU Tory MPs faced a campaign orchestrated by insurance tycoon and Leave.EU founder Arron Banks - although he insisted the funding came from Brexit-supporting small donors.

The Irish border "backstop", which seeks to avoid extensive checks on the frontier between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU state Ireland should the open border there not be maintained by a new, post-Brexit EU-UK trade partnership, is the biggest sticking point. One source said eight or nine cabinet ministers had serious concerns.

The backstop will come into place if the United Kingdom and European Union can't agree to a comprehensive deal on their future trade relationship.

But a spokesman for Downing Street told Daily Star Online "there are no plans" for the PM to make a public announcement about her proposals for Brexit.

The emails are particularly important because the Government now relies on the support of 10 DUP MPs for its Commons majority.

It predicts that 18 of the 37 hardline Tory Brexiters are "potentially persuadable".

The radical strategy has led to a rift between the DUP and their partners in government, with some Tory MPs taking to social media to criticise Mr Wilson's remarks.