The Democratic Unionist Party only received draft proposals on the Irish border from the Government on Monday morning before deciding they were "clearly unacceptable" and scuppering agreement in Brexit negotiations.

DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds blamed the Irish Government and European Union for the delay in seeing plans the party later rejected, because they would have shifted Northern Ireland's customs border to the Irish Sea.

The move by the DUP dashed Theresa May's hopes of securing agreement on the terms of Britain's EU withdrawal, which included the plan to avoid a hard Irish border.

The Prime Minister had to break off from talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday for an urgent call with DUP leader Arlene Foster, after she dramatically declared her party's implacable opposition to the plans.

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At a Westminster press conference, Mr Dodds revealed that the DUP did not receive the proposals until just before Mrs May's lunch with Mr Juncker.

He said: "Despite several briefings over the course of the last few weeks, we only received written text late yesterday morning.

"We understand this was due in part to delays caused by the Irish Government and the EU negotiating team.

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"Upon immediate receipt of that text we indicated to senior Government representatives that it was clearly unacceptable in its current form."