06 August 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
“We want to see a sensible deal negotiated between the United Kingdom and the European Union but that can only happen if Dublin and Brussels are in deal making mode.
The backstop is the problem. It would place economic barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Laws over the most important parts of our economy would be made in Brussels with no say for either Westminster or Stormont. That cannot be acceptable in any democratic sense.
The Withdrawal Agreement was rejected by Parliament because it would have undermined the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom and led to trade barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain which would mean long term economic catastrophe for Northern Ireland.
On 29 January 2019, Parliament backed the Brady Amendment which sought a better deal. There was a window of opportunity to renegotiate a better deal with the EU but Brussels closed that window and ruled out changes. Leo Varadkar led the charge against any changes saying that a backstop with even a time limit was not a backstop.
As a result of that intransigent attitude, Dublin and some in the EU look like they are intent on creating a situation where an exit on WTO terms seems likely. That is not our preference but equally we cannot accept a bad deal which would effectively trap Northern Ireland in the EU with no means of exit.
It is positive that there is acceptance amongst the EU27 as well as clear statements from our own Government that there will be no hard border, even in a no deal scenario. Likewise the Irish government says checks will be done away from the border. All of which means the fuss about a backstop is unnecessary.
Reckless talk of soldiers and barbed wire was always ill-considered scaremongering.
With the clock counting down towards 31 October, it is time for Dublin and Brussels to engage constructively and work for a deal which respects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.”