BORIS Johnsons DUP allies have warned that his Brexit deal would deliver the biggest change to the Union since 1801 in a blistering attack that sent relations to rock bottom.
The DUPs Westminster leader Nigel Dodds also accused the PM of being dishonest over his claim that there would be no checks between Northern Ireland Great Britain under his deal.
Today Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay was forced to admit that Mr Johnson was wrong to make this claim.
Mr Barclay was dragged to the House to clarify what extra checks would be needed on goods moving between the province and the rest of the UK after days of confusion.
Contradicting the PMs claim two days earlier, Mr Barclay said some information will be needed on goods moving from GB to Northern Ireland that are destined for the Republic in order to ensure they complied with EU rules and tariffs.
This is because under the PMs Brexit plans, Northern Ireland would remain in the UKs customs territory but would also need to comply with the EUs rules in order to avoid checks at the border with Ireland.
Mr Barclay also admitted there would need to be checks moving the other way – from Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
These would be minimal targeted interventions to prevent illegal trade in black markets such as endangered species or the trade of kimberley diamonds, the Brexit Secretary told MPs.
He played down the importance of these checks, insisting they were just administrative processes to comply with international and EU laws.
He insisted the UK would work with the EU to ensure these checks were limited processes and said they would automatically stop after four years unless the Northern Ireland Assembly decides otherwise.
Attempting to explain the PMs claim that there would be no checks either way across the Irish Sea, Mr Barclay said: The PM was distinguishing between the paperwork that is required, which will be done digitally and is a single form, rather than introducing physical checks.
But the DUP tore into Mr Barclay and the Government and warned the new system would hinder the 14 billion worth of trade between Northern Ireland and GB, which is three times as much as trade between the province and the EU.
Accusing the Government of playing loose with the truth, Mr Dodds stormed: There will be checks because were going to have export declarations from NI to GB.
He now calls them administrative processes but they are exit declarations which have to be checked – and for GB to Northern Ireland therell be customs declarations, physical checks, tariffs on goods going to the EUropean Union and entry summary declarations.
His own impact assessment says its a potential to reduce trade, business investment consumer spend in Northern Ireland and will hit small business disproportionately.
Lets have a bit of clarity and honesty in this House.
And DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly said the arrangements would have a long-lasting impact on the Union.
She blasted The proposals represent the most significant internal change to the Union since the Act of Union 1801, which guaranteed internal trade within the Kingdom.