Belfast Telegraph

DUP calls for more clarity from PM over EU concessions

Deputy leader Nigel Dodds said he needed to be clear about what concessions the Prime Minister is seeking from the EU.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has called for clarity about what concessions the Prime Minister is seeking from the EU.

The Northern Irish party’s 10 MPs are adamantly opposed to the inclusion of any backstop in the withdrawal treaty because they believe it could separate the country from the rest of the UK.

The EU’s response to the summit was not surprising, but the Prime Minister must decide whether she will stand up to such tactics or once again accept a deal on Europe’s terms alone Nigel Dodds

Mr Dodds said: “There is a need for clarity from the Prime Minister about exactly what she is asking for to deal with the key concerns about the legally binding indefinite nature of the backstop with no right for the United Kingdom to exit on its own terms.

“The EU’s response to the summit was not surprising, but the Prime Minister must decide whether she will stand up to such tactics or once again accept a deal on Europe’s terms alone.”

He made the call following a statement from the Prime Minister to Parliament.

The North Belfast MP said: “Following the summit last week the European Council have talked about clarifications and reassurances but ruled out renegotiating, contradicting or reopening the legal text.

“They also even struck out text which stated the backstop didn’t represent a desirable outcome for the EU27.”

The DUP is threatening to vote down the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan unless there is significant change.

The backstop is an insurance policy if no better trade deal is struck, designed to preserve a frictionless Irish border.

It would keep Northern Ireland bound by some of the EU’s regulations in exchange for an open frontier.

Following the declaration that a vote on the Brexit deal would take place in the House of Commons in the week starting January 14, SDLP MLA and Brexit spokeswoman Claire Hanna called for a second referendum to be held on Brexit.

“Many people had their faith broken the day ‘Leave’ decided to run a disingenuous campaign built on untruths," she said.

“The SDLP have said repeatedly that we will support any opportunity to stop Brexit including another referendum, as the fact remains that the UK Parliament is in deadlock with no majority for any form of Brexit, and no pathway to resolving this.

“The problem isn’t with the current deal on the table, but with Brexit itself. There is no magical way to reconcile Brexiteer promises with the UK Government's legal obligations to the island if Ireland.

“In this context it is appropriate to go back to the public on how to proceed. More democracy cannot be undemocratic."

Press Association

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph