Higgins remarks show ‘scant regard for democracy’: Dodds

04 July 2019

Responding to remarks made by the Irish President Michael D. Higgins in which he described the democratic UK decision to leave the European Union as a ‘tantrum’ DUP MEP Diane Dodds said:

Diane Dodds MEP

Minister for the Department for the Economy

Diane Dodds

“The DUP rejects these comments attributed to the President of the Republic of Ireland which show scant regard for the principles of democracy.

While we respect everyone’s right to contribute to the significant ongoing debate around the UK’s exit from the EU, the fact that the decision to leave was the result of a legitimate and democratic referendum cannot and will not be rewritten. The will of the British people must be respected, even by those who disagree with the outcome, in order to maintain public trust in democracy.

The reality is that it is the EU who continue to throw their toys out of the pram. Having failed to secure sufficient support for the divisive and damaging backstop plan, the Irish Prime Minister digs in his heels over the backstop despite there being no prospect of it passing the House of Commons. This intransigence is simply not sustainable if an orderly and deliverable Brexit deal is to be achieved.

Dublin and Brussels must understand that a workable settlement can never be secured through coercion of one side to the uncompromising demands of the other. It will take pragmatism and flexibility - qualities the EU’s negotiators have so far proven unwilling to demonstrate.

For our part the DUP will continue to defend the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom, protect Northern Ireland’s interests and ensure that the referendum result is honoured. We want to see a sensible and orderly Brexit which works for everyone in Northern Ireland as well as our closest neighbours in the Irish Republic.’’

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