British PM remains opposed to Northern Ireland-only backstop -DUP

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Government officials have drawn up plans for Boris Johnson to build a bridge spanning from Scotland to Northern Ireland as a potential means of solving problems with the Irish backstop, it has emerged.

Ms McDonald said Sinn Féin has always been an enthusiastic participant in power sharing, however, she said the party has run into immovable and ongoing roadblocks.

Varadkar also revealed that he had "not received" any legally-binding new proposals from the United Kingdom government for alternatives to the contentious Irish backstop, putting him at odds with Johnson's recent claims that progress was being made.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said Brexit negotiations are between the British state, the British government and the European institutions and it would be a very unsafe idea that a veto on the issue could be given to the Democratic Unionist Party who, she said, did not represent the views of business, agriculture or broad society in Northern Ireland.

"He obviously saw in Sinn Fein an organisation that is full square for Irish unity, for progress and for peace and prosperity in Ireland but also a party that stands full square against the political establishment", Ms McDonald added.

She said the DUP do not speak on behalf of the majority in the North who voted to Remain in the EU.

Ms McDonald said there "should be no veto in the protection of Irish interests".

She accused the DUP of "recklessly" pursuing a Brexit that will damage peoples' livelihoods.

She pointed out that Brexit negotiations are between the British government and the European Union and added: "The DUP, the Assembly, nobody can have a veto in delivering what are very, very necessary and bottom line protections".

Ms McDonald said it would be "inappropriate to comment" on whether Mr Hampton had mental health issues.

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