13 November 2018
DUP Leader Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster MLA said,
“We want a sensible deal which works for Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland. But our desire for a deal will not be superseded by a willingness to accept any deal.
An agreement which places new trade barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain will fundamentally undermine the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. That is not acceptable. Over time, such a deal will weaken the Union. No unionist Prime Minister could argue that such a deal is in the national interest.
It would be democratically unacceptable for Northern Ireland trade rules to be set by Brussels. Northern Ireland would have no representation in Brussels and would be dependent on a Dublin government speaking up for our core industries.
The withdrawal agreement is a legally binding treaty which will shape our nation for the next generation. It will bind future governments and Prime Ministers. Without a clean exit clause, the United Kingdom would be handcuffed to the European Union with Brussels holding the keys. At least the United Kingdom people could vote to leave the European Union.
I am heartened by friends of the Union on both sides of the House and across the United Kingdom who have pledged to stand with the DUP in opposing a deal which weakens the Union and hands control to Brussels rather than Parliament.
These are momentous days and the decisions being taken will have long-lasting ramifications. The Prime Minister must win the support of the Cabinet and the House of Commons. Every individual vote will count.”