11 February 2019
Responding to the release of a Sinn Fein ‘no deal Brexit contingencies’ policy paper, DUP MEP Diane Dodds said:
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
“These proposals are more about cynical electoral manoeuvres in the Irish Republic than addressing the genuine concerns of businesses and communities across Northern Ireland.
When Gerry Adams delivers speeches calling on the Irish government to “stand up to the Brits” it is very clear that Sinn Fein’s agenda is to perpetuate the divisions which exist, not to seek accommodation.”
Sinn Fein is more interested in launching toothless policy papers than taking their seats in the House of Commons where their voice and votes could actually make a difference.
It is ironic that Sinn Fein wants a ‘no deal stabilisation fund’ given that their only clear priority throughout the Brexit process has been to exploit uncertainty in the hope of a destabilising and divisive border poll. Indeed, when Sinn Fein say that the backstop is “the bottom line” they know that it is an insistence on the backstop which is making a ‘no deal’ exit more likely. It’s almost as if SF wants a ‘no deal’ exit
This document rehashes other unicorn goals such as holding EU elections in Northern Ireland post-Brexit, but also highlights the need for a deliverable Brexit deal in the Irish Republic given the high reliance of Irish agri-food on market access to Great Britain.
The DUP supports making strong no deal preparations which give maximum certainty to businesses, households and families. Working toward a fairer deal which secures legally-binding changes to the draft withdrawal agreement that address the flawed backstop must be our continued priority. However, this should not be to the detriment of putting in place effective contingency plans that protect vital sectors such as agri-food and hospitality which are most affected by the UK’s exit from the EU.
As a Party we continue to hold regular discussions with the Government in line with our confidence and supply arrangement to ensure that this work programme continues.
While Sinn Fein roams for relevance in the Irish Republic the DUP will ensure the interests of Northern Ireland are represented where it matters, when it matters.’’