Belfast Telegraph

DUP accuse May of 'sub-contracting out the future of Brexit' to Corbyn

DUP leader Arlene Foster
DUP leader Arlene Foster

The DUP has accused Theresa May of "sub-contracting out the future of Brexit" to Jeremy Corbyn, after the Prime Minister said she would hold talks with the Labour leader to find a way forward for Brexit.

Speaking on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister also said she would ask the EU for a further extension to Article 50 beyond the April 12 deadline.

Mrs May said she would try to strike a compromise deal with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but it would have to include her current deal.

"I'm offering to sit down with the leader of the opposition and try to agree a plan that we would both stick to to ensure we leave the EU and we do so with a deal," she said.

In a party statement on Tuesday night, the DUP said Mrs May's announcement "comes as little surprise".

“The Prime Minister’s lamentable handling of the negotiations with the EU means she has failed to deliver a sensible Brexit deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom. That is why she has not been able to get it through parliament," the statement read.

"Her announcement therefore tonight comes as little surprise. Though it remains to be seen if sub-contracting out the future of Brexit to Jeremy Corbyn, someone whom the Conservatives have demonised for four years, will end happily.

"We want the result of the referendum respected, and just as we joined the Common Market as one country we must leave the EU as one country.

"We will continue to use our position within Parliament and with the Government to argue strongly the case for Northern Ireland and the integrity of the United Kingdom.

"We remain consistent in judging all Brexit outcomes against our clear unionist principles.”

Theresa May's Brexit deal has already been rejected by MPs in the Commons on three occasions, however she said she is aiming for the Withdrawal Agreement to be agreed by MPs before May 22 "so the UK need not take part in European Parliamentary elections".

Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion said it is clear that the Government and Parliament has "no plan, no strategy and no clue what it is doing".

“Theresa May had said she will ask for an extension but it cannot be an extension for no reason," she added.

“The British Parliament cannot continue to keep talking to itself about fantasy options that aren’t on the table.

“The only way to avoid a crash out is the Withdrawal Agreement. That is not open for renegotiation. The DUP and British parliament need to realise this."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said he was glad the Prime Minister has "decided to ditch the ERG and DUP" version of Brexit.

"Really important now that we see real leadership from across the Westminster parliament," he added.

"The bottom line is still clear - the Good Friday Agreement and frictionless border needs to be protected."

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