24 October 2019
DUP MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Strengthening the Union, Emma Little Pengelly MP, has warned that the proposed Brexit deal would weaken the Union.
Emma Little Pengelly said,
“The proposed deal is not one any Unionist could or should support. The proposals represent the most significant internal change to the Union since the Act of Union 1801, which guaranteed internal trade within the Kingdom.
The proposal puts in a new and significant border in the Irish Sea as well as Northern Ireland in one customs union but operating the code of a different jurisdiction. We should remember that Northern Ireland trades more within the United Kingdom than it trades with the Republic of Ireland, Europe and the Rest of the World combined.
It is totally unacceptable and in all reality will result in a permanent economic border in the Irish Sea. We have taken daily lectures about ‘no hard border on the island of Ireland’. Yet, those same people care nothing of the hugely practical, economic and symbolic problems with implementing what is a full, hard border within the United Kingdom, separating Northern Ireland from our biggest market.”
The South Belfast MP has written to Steve Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, to seek urgent clarity on additional procedural checks on businesses moving goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Previously, the Prime Minister had promised, ‘full and unfettered access’ for business within the UK.
Emma Little Pengelly continued, “I have been engaging with business, who rightly have huge concerns about these proposals. Many questions remain unanswered on what looks like a hugely bureaucratic system. I am seeking answers urgently.”
In closing, the DUP MP highlighted, “I was privileged to have been elected the inaugural Chairperson for the APPG on Strengthening the Union, a task that I will pursue with passion and vigour. Being British is far more than the passport that I hold. Britishness goes well beyond the colour of a letter box. Britishness is about our shared culture, identity and respect. But in the days that lie ahead, it is crucial that MPs from all four corners of the United Kingdom, stand together and maintain the economic integrity of our great nation.”