07 February 2019
Following the Prime Minister’s meetings in Brussels today, the DUP’s Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP said,
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
“We are not surprised by today’s response in Brussels. It is a negotiation but EU negotiators must be realistic. There can only be an ‘agreement’ if it can secure a majority in the House of Commons.
The draft withdrawal agreement with its backstop is unacceptable. Firstly, it would create a democratic deficit by making Northern Ireland rule takers and leaving our core industries dependent on Dublin for their rule changes. And secondly it would place a new border between NI and GB – our biggest market.
We want to see a deal but we need people to be in deal-making mode. We need to see genuine diplomatic language rather than the offensive rhetoric of recent days.
Both Simon Coveney and Michel Barnier have recognised there are ways to avoid a hard border even in a ‘no deal’ scenario. Therefore, those suggesting there are no alternatives are fooling no one but themselves.
Our Prime Minister received a strong mandate from Parliament to seek legally binding changes to the draft withdrawal agreement. That is where her focus must lie. She must stand by her commitments to the House of Commons.”