09 May 2019
DUP MEP Diane Dodds said,
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
“Colum Eastwood’s bus graphics may have seemed like a good idea for a photo call but have two major flaws.
Firstly, the money we get from Brussels originates in UK pockets as we are net contributors to the EU. It is our own money coming back.
Secondly, on Colum’s logic the SDLP would not be campaigning for a united Ireland as Northern Ireland is dependent upon the block grant.
The United Kingdom is a net contributor to the EU budget, meaning that businesses, families and households add far more to the Brussels coffers than they receive in return. The referendum result sent a clear message that we must take back control of our money. This will benefit investment in front line services and allow us to spend our own money on tackling social and economic disparities between different regions and communities.
Only the DUP has the strength and influence to ensure that Northern Ireland receives its fair share from Brexit dividends, including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We will continue to work with industry and the community and voluntary sector to ensure that future funding policy reflects local needs and places fewer burdens on projects.
Cost-effective participation in specific EU funds can be in Northern Ireland’s interest after Brexit. This will allow our world class researchers, our students and our young people to travel, study and work abroad. Both governments and the EU have also provided solid guarantees of new PEACE Plus and INTERREG programmes under any Brexit scenario. This is positive and counteracts many of the scare tactics deployed both during the referendum and negotiations that followed.
On 23rd May voters have an opportunity to send a message that the referendum result must be respected. It is time to tell Brussels again that the days of sending vast payments to the EU are over.
While others focus on PR stunts the DUP will continue to lever Northern Ireland’s unique position at Westminster to ensure an independent UK outside the EU delivers better value for money for local people.”