DUP Priorities for Northern Ireland as Cabinet discusses White Paper

05 July 2018

Statement by DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP

Nigel Dodds MP

DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs

Nigel Dodds

“As the Cabinet meets to consider its White Paper on Brexit the DUP is clear about the way forward.

We will be holding the Prime Minister to her commitments on the integrity of the United Kingdom so that the whole of the country leaves the EU and its institutions together.

This is vital for economic as well as political and constitutional reasons.

People voted to take back control of their laws, borders and money, not to make Northern Ireland’s constitutional framework resemble the backside of a tapestry. To create some kind of hybrid status for Northern Ireland where we would be subject to laws and regulations set by others over which we would have no say, whilst setting us apart from our biggest market in the rest of the UK, is sheer madness. It would be the road to economic ruin and the beginning of the constitutional break-up of the United Kingdom.

In the House of Commons earlier this week, the Prime Minister said she was committed to the avoidance of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. She added:


“Northern Ireland is an integral part of our country and we will never accept the imposition of a border within our United Kingdom.”


Our ongoing intense engagement with the Government on all things to do with Brexit will continue to ensure our status as an integral part of the United Kingdom is strengthened.

The priority now must be to get on to the main business of negotiating the future trading relationship between the whole of the UK and the EU. It is in that context the issues of cross border trade and customs both East-West and North-South will be resolved.

On the overall shape of Brexit for the UK as a whole, we will judge the final White Paper against the tests the Prime Minister herself set out at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

That is:

“a Brexit that ensures that we are out of the customs union, we are out of the single market, we are out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, we are out of the common agricultural policy, we are out of the common fisheries policy, we bring an end to free movement, we take control of our borders, and we have an independent trade policy, but we are also able to have a good trade arrangement with the European Union, protecting jobs and prosperity for the future.”

The DUP has already delivered one of the main and essential elements of Brexit.

The EU Withdrawal Act has now passed into law thanks to the votes of the DUP.

This legislation repeals the laws making the UK a member of the EU.

Many of the wrecking amendments were defeated by narrow majorities which, had the DUP taken a different decision, would have passed the House of Commons.

We will continue to shape the way forward in the best interests of Northern Ireland making sure the Union is defended and strengthened and our economy is best placed for the years ahead.

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