12 September 2018
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has said the legacy of outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will be the exit of the United Kingdom and rapid loss of support for the EU across Europe.
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
Addressing MEPs in Strasbourg after Mr Juncker’s State of the Union address, Mrs Dodds reiterated that there would be no borders erected within the United Kingdom post-Brexit.
“Today Mr Juncker wanted to establish his legacy but sadly that legacy will be the loss of a Member State and more importantly the loss of confidence in the European Union as demonstrated by the recent elections in Sweden, Italy and Germany. As well as a migration crisis that continues to cost lives.
On Brexit Mr Juncker reaffirms his view that there should be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I agree, but he also reaffirms support for the Belfast Agreement. However the EU backstop proposal ignores one of the core principles of that Agreement, the principle of consent. Let me make this clear once again in this House. There can be no borders - and certainly not those imposed by the EU - within the internal market of the United Kingdom or interference in its constitutional framework.
Great Britain is Northern Ireland’s largest market place where we sell more than in the Republic of Ireland, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world put together. Equally 70% of everything that comes in to Northern Ireland either for consumers or the manufacturing process comes from Great Britain. Customs or regulatory barriers would put jobs and families at risk.’’