03 January 2019
DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP said today that the Party’s principled objections to the EU Withdrawal Agreement remained and he pressed the Prime Minister to deliver on her commitments to deal with the backstop.
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
Mr Dodds was speaking after a meeting over lunch with the Prime Minister in No.10 Downing Street. DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson MP and Northern Ireland MEP Diane Dodds also attended the discussions.
Mr Dodds added,
“The Irish Republic’s ‘no deal’ preparations published just before Christmas have laid bare the nonsense propaganda about a hard border. No one wants a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Indeed, its becoming clearer by the day that no one is ever going to construct such a border. With this clarity emerging in London, Dublin and Brussels, there is evidently no need for the aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement which have been so vigorously opposed by a broad cross section of the House of Commons.
The Withdrawal Agreement, as currently proposed, flies in the face of the Government’s commitments on Northern Ireland as we leave the EU. Contrary to pro-EU spin, the backstop is not the best of both worlds. It is potentially indefinite in time, would place a barrier between us and our main trading partner in Great Britain and give enormous leverage to the European Union in the negotiations on the future relationship with the United Kingdom.
We will have further discussions with the Prime Minister and will continue to work with the Government in the interests of getting a better deal. Brussels must now demonstrate that if it truly cares about Northern Ireland, then erecting a new east-west barrier should be no more palatable than having any new north-south barriers.”