17 July 2019
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has told Ministers and MEPs that the EU must drop its intransigent support for the backstop if a workable Brexit deal acceptable to the UK Parliament is to be reached by 31 October.
Every six months a different EU country takes charge of chairing meetings at every level of the European Council. Since 1 July that responsibility has been with Finland. Addressing Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne in Strasbourg, Diane Dodds said:
‘‘As the deadline of October 31 looms the Finnish Presidency will be dominated, whether you like it or not, by the EU’s response to Brexit.
Both candidates in the race to become the British Prime Minister have rejected the backstop. The backstop, as I have said many times in this House, threatens the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.
The EU can continue to go down the path intransigence, promoting a deal that will never make it through the UK Parliament, thereby ensuring no deal. This will of course present serious challenges to the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework, one of your priorities, and ultimately the pockets of European taxpayers. Or it can act in the interests of its own businesses, farmers and citizens by pursuing a more sensible and pragmatic outcome. To show that the EU can listen.
A solution on the Irish border is possible with political will but a proposal which imposes trade barriers in the United Kingdom is intolerable.’’