08 January 2019
DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds said,
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
"Any assurances sought or received by the Prime Minister will not alter the legally binding text of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The plan for some late assurances has been widely rumoured over recent days, apparently earning itself the nickname “Operation Figleaf” within government. Only today Simon Coveney has made it clear that letters can be sent, but “we cannot re-open the withdrawal agreement text itself”.
Mr Coveney however describes anyone opposing the Withdrawal Agreement as a “hardliners…who will win out to everybody else’s cost, most notably Ireland’s cost”. He fails to recognise the irony that Ireland’s hard-line and inflexible insistence on an unacceptable and unworkable backstop is one of the key reasons why the Withdrawal Agreement is so strongly opposed within Parliament.
If a rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement comes at Ireland’s cost then the Irish Government is a key architect of that outcome.”