10 July 2019
DUP MEP for Northern Ireland Diane Dodds has had discussions with Ursula von der Leyen during a meeting of the Conference of Presidents in the European Parliament.
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
The incoming European Commission Chief has been holding a series of meetings prior to the ratification vote on her position in next weeks plenary in Strasbourg. In these exchanges she told the next UK Prime Minister to be mindful of their "tone and attitude" regarding Brexit. She then went on to urge the UK to not leave the EU.
Mrs Dodds said,
“The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in the ultimate electoral act of my lifetime.
People who did not usually participate in elections, made their way to the ballot box to express their desire to exit the European Union.
For Mrs von der Leven to urge the next Prime Minister to ignore the will of the people is exactly the reason why people voted to leave.
The EU hierarchy is aloof and cavalier with the electorate. Ursula von der Leyen is not even in position and is already dismissing the democratic wishes of 17.4 million people”
Mrs Dodds urged the Commissioner designate to use the transition period from now to October 31st to work on securing the right deal for the EU 27 and United Kingdom so that both can prosper and work closely together.
“While Mrs von der Leyen will not formally come into office until the end of October she can use her time in the transition period to ensure that we have a deal that benefits all of our people. Then she can concentrate on the new relationship between the EU and the UK.
The signs are not encouraging. So far she has stuck to the old EU intransigence of total support for the draft withdrawal agreement. An agreement that does not have the support of the Unionist community in Northern Ireland and which will see barriers erected within the United Kingdom’s internal market. She mirrors the intransigence and obstinacy of Dublin. Support for the European project is clearly more important than support for democracy and economic prosperity.
The incoming Commission chief must take some of her own advice. Rather than lecture the UK Government about tone and attitude she should do some soul-searching of her own.
The reason why we are facing a ‘no deal’ exit is because of the arrogant approach in Dublin and Brussels
A balanced way forward can be found but it will require pragmatism in Brussels rather than highhanded lectures.”