08 October 2018
DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA will travel to Brussels this evening (8 October) for an intensive three-day round of meetings with the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier as well as representatives from other member states.
DUP MEP Diane Dodds will host the meetings for Mrs Foster.
Speaking in advance of the visit Mrs Foster said,
“We want the June 2016 referendum result to be respected and implemented. A majority of people throughout the United Kingdom voted to take back control of their money, laws and borders. Whilst many in Brussels may not agree with the referendum outcome, the result must be respected.
As we leave the EU, we should do so as one nation. The United Kingdom single market must be protected with no new borders between Northern Ireland and Great Britain being created. From day one this has been the DUP’s only red line.
This red line is recognising that Great Britain is Northern Ireland’s biggest market. Over 70% of all goods leaving Belfast port are destined for Great Britain. To create a barrier to that trade would be catastrophic. We want to see an exit deal which means Northern Ireland has unfettered access to and from the GB market but also fully beneficiaries of any new trade deals with the United Kingdom after Brexit.
Our red line also respects and protects Northern Ireland’s constitutional place in the United Kingdom. Many who claim to respect the Belfast Agreement, fail to respect the principle of consent which was part of that Agreement. Indeed, they would happily redraw the border and annex Northern Ireland away from the rest of the UK.
Finally, I want to see the United Kingdom exit the EU in a sensible manner which works for each part of the UK but also importantly in a way that works for our nearest neighbour in the Republic of Ireland."