Irish reaction exposed true intent of backstop

04 October 2019

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has said the response to the Prime Minister’s proposals from Leo Varadkar was predictable but also exposed their selfish interest in the flawed Withdrawal Agreement.

Sammy Wilson MP

DUP Parliamentary Spokesman on Education, Treasury and the Department of Work & Pensions.

Sammy Wilson

Mr Wilson said,

“Rather than take a reasonable and constructive approach, the Irish Prime Minister deliberately chose to poke unionists in the eye by inaccurately talking up support for a united Ireland to an international audience. The Irish diplomats who foolishly shoehorned such Sinn Fein rhetoric into his speech made a gross miscalculation.  The focus and deliberate use of incendiary language designed to unsettle unionists is a telling insight to the real motives of that administration.

This Taoiseach has repeatedly lectured UK Ministers about their need to be impartial on the Union. Never again will he be able to take such a holier than thou approach to neutrality in Northern Ireland.  His blundering disrespect for people who support the Union and prejudice was put up in lights for all to see.

The Irish reaction also exposed their true intent with the backstop.  It is clear from Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney’s comments that they were committed to the backstop because it ensured Northern Ireland remained trapped in the EU.  No unionist will ever tolerate Northern Ireland’s economic future being determined by the Dublin government.

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.  Great Britain is our biggest trading partner.  Our place is in the UK single market and customs union.  As the Prime Minister has put forward in his proposals, we will leave the EU Customs Union alongside the rest of the United Kingdom – to stay would be a real barrier to internal UK trade. We will leave the EU Single Market and parallel consent will rightly be required if we opt-in to Single Market regulations for Northern Ireland’s economic advantage.

Whether people voted leave or remain those who believe the referendum result should be respected are prepared to work for a fair and balanced outcome which recognises the uniqueness of Northern Ireland.

However, if the Irish government follows its ‘winner takes all’ approach to the negotiations then Leo and Simon should get prepared to take further commands from Brussels who will force them to erect the structures they have railed so much against.”

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