Belfast Telegraph

DUP has ‘good engagement’ with PM

Deputy leader Nigel Dodds said he wanted to see consensus in the Commons around a deal which works for every part of the UK, EU and Ireland.

The DUP said it had enjoyed good engagement with the Prime Minister and welcomed her decision to rule out extending Article 50 (Dominic Lipinski/PA).
The DUP said it had enjoyed good engagement with the Prime Minister and welcomed her decision to rule out extending Article 50 (Dominic Lipinski/PA).

The DUP has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to rule out extending Article 50.

Deputy leader Nigel Dodds said he wanted to see consensus in the Commons around a Brexit deal which worked for every part of the UK, EU and Ireland.

He added: “We welcome the commitment by the Prime Minister to rule out an extension to Article 50, the waiving of the £65 fee for EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom and the recognition that the necessary legal changes to the withdrawal agreement must be secured from Brussels.

The backstop is the problem and that is where the focus must lie Nigel Dodds

“In recent days, we have had good engagement with the Prime Minister.

“It is encouraging to see that the core issues which led to the House rejecting the withdrawal agreement are being focused upon in a really serious manner.”

The North Belfast MP added: “The backstop is the problem and that is where the focus must lie.”

Nationalist SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the British Government’s commitment to the Good Friday Agreement was “superficial”.

“Today’s statement proves only one point – that the British state is in chaos.

“Boxed into a corner, the Prime Minister is running out of time and running out of options; clinging to the DUP to help her hold on to power – despite the fact the DUP do not represent our interests nor the views of the majority of people in the North.”

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said the Prime Minister’s Brexit statement was a “wasted opportunity”.

“There is little point in wasting further time indulging those obsessed with changing or ditching the backstop.

“Any negotiated Brexit will require a withdrawal agreement, which will in turn require an open-ended backstop until and unless a better solution protecting the Good Friday Agreement comes along.

“The Prime Minister is arrogant to keep dismissing calls for either a People’s Vote or an extension of Article 50 to avoid a catastrophic no-deal outcome.

“She seems to be afraid to see either of these propositions formally tested, and it is now important Parliament forces her hand on this.”

Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion said: “The Good Friday Agreement is an internationally binding agreement and there can be no unilateral reworking of it.”

PA

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