14 January 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
“Despite a letter of supposed reassurance from the European Union, there are no “legally binding assurances” as the Prime Minister talked about in December. In fact, there is nothing new. Nothing has changed.
Rather than reassure us, the Tusk and Juncker letter bolsters our concerns by confirming:
1. everything the Attorney General said in his legal advice regarding the backstop, still stands;
2. there has been no change to the Withdrawal Agreement and
3. Northern Ireland would be subject to EU laws with no representation in Brussels. We would rely on the Dublin government to speak up for us.
Instead of meaningless letters, the Prime Minister should now ask for and deliver changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.”
Regarding the Prime Minister’s comment about “changes to everyday life in Northern Ireland that would put the future of our Union at risk” Mr Dodds said,
“The Prime Minister must explain this comment. What exactly would the Government be changing? If this is nothing more than scaremongering, then the Prime Minister should cease from such foolish talk. Indeed, the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that the Republic of Ireland is not making preparations for a hard border even in the event of no deal being agreed.”