Belfast Telegraph

DUP MP Ian Paisley says 'gallows are being built' for Theresa May's Brexit deal

The North Antrim MP said "nothing concentrates the mind like a hanging".

DUP MP Ian Paisley has said "nothing concentrates the mind like a hanging", in an apparent reference to Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Mr Paisley, speaking during the Brexit debate in the House of Commons on Thursday, warned International Trade Secretary Liam Fox that the "gallows are being built" for the Brexit deal.

The North Antrim MP said: "It was Samuel Johnson who observed that nothing so concentrates the mind like a hanging.

"And as the gallows are being built next Tuesday for this Withdrawal Agreement, can the Secretary of State confirm if there are any discussions taking place about putting this motion off or about altering it in any way, or is the Government fixed on walking towards those gallows?"

Dr Fox replied: "The Government will continue to make the case for what it believes is a balanced and reasonable agreement, but of course the Government will want to talk to members, it will want to look to ways to give a reassurance to the House wherever we're able to do that."

Mr Paisley included Nazi appeasement in a comparison with the EU as he urged the Conservatives to go back to the drawing board on their Brexit deal.

He said: "Some of the huge issues that have driven our nation - whether it's been the corn laws, imperial preference in the 19th century, the appeasement of the Nazis in the 1930s and our relationship with the EU or the EEC in the 1960s - all of those matters were about divisions in the Conservative Party.

"It is not about how this side of the House is going to vote on the 11th of December that actually matters but what that side of the House is going to do.

"They have a choice - to stuff Northern Ireland into some adjunct of this kingdom and damage this kingdom forever and for generations, or else they can say there is a better way, there is an alternative and we will find it."

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