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'Northern Ireland has been sold out' - Labour MP Hoey reacts to Brexit draft deal

By Mark Edwards

DUP MP Nigel Dodds has accused Theresa May of breaking promises on the future of Northern Ireland in her Brexit deal, while Labour MP Kate Hoey said the Prime Minister had "sold out" the people of the province.

The DUP has expressed fury that the deal, agreed between the EU and UK on Wednesday evening, treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK in order to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Mr Dodds, speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, said: "I could today stand here and take the Prime Minister through the list of promises and pledges that she made to this house and to us privately about the future of Northern Ireland and the future relationship with the EU. But I fear it would be a waste of time because she clearly doesn't listen.

"Can I say today, that this house now has a clear choice and every member in it.  This house has been left in a position where the choice is subjection to the rules and laws of others who may not have our interests at heart and for Northern Ireland and our precious union.

"Five of those today who have resigned have all talked about the threat to the integrity of the union and I congratulate them for what they have said and done, and their strong actions.

Mr Dodds added: "The choice is now clear. We stand up for the whole of the United Kingdom, the integrity of the United Kingdom or we vote for a vassal state and the break up of the United Kingdom- that's the choice."

Labour former minister Kate Hoey later added: "Outside this House when people read these hundreds of pages of eurospeak, they will realise that in any way we are being sold out, we've been sold out by our negotiators who have allowed the EU to take the lead.

"Will she not accept that at this stage not only are we all being collectively sold out, but the people of Northern Ireland are being sold out absolutely?"

Mrs May responded: "I do not agree with her in relation to the suggestion that in some sense the EU Commission, the European Union has given nothing away to the UK during these negotiations, these have been tough negotiations, this is a complex matter."

DUP MP Jim Shannon told Theresa May Northern Ireland will not be her sacrifice for a "despicable and shoddy" Brexit deal.

He said: "She is telling us to trade our children's, grandchildren's and constituents' birthright for a despicable and shoddy deal.

"Prime Minister, we will not be your sacrifice and we will not agree to give the backstop controls to the EU or to the Republic of Ireland. Never."

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