22 March 2019
DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP said,
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
“The Prime Minister missed an opportunity at the EU Council to put forward proposals which could have improved the prospects of an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement and help unite the country.
That failure is all the more disappointing and inexcusable given the clear divisions and arguments which became evident amongst EU member states when faced with outcomes they don’t like.
As we have always said, negotiations with the EU inevitably go down to the wire and the Government has been far too willing to capitulate before securing the necessary changes which would get an agreement through the House of Commons.
The Government has consistently settled for inferior compromises when they didn’t need to and when there was, and is, more negotiating with the EU to be done.
Lectures by the Prime Minister putting the blame on others cannot disguise the responsibility her government bears for the current debacle and the fact that her agreement has been twice overwhelmingly rejected in Parliament.
The Prime Minister has now agreed with the EU to kick the can down the road for another two weeks and humiliatingly revoke her oft-stated pledge that the U.K. would leave the EU on 29th March.
Nothing has changed as far as the Withdrawal Agreement is concerned. Nothing fundamentally turns on the formal ratification of documents which the Attorney General has already said do not change the risk of the U.K. being trapped in the backstop.
The DUP has been very clear throughout that we want a deal which delivers on the referendum result and which works for all parts of the U.K. and for the EU as well.
But it must be a deal that protects the Union. That remains our abiding principle. We will not accept any deal which poses a long term risk to the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.”