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DUP plays down reports of divided opinions over Brexit backstop


DUP MP Sammy Wilson

DUP MP Sammy Wilson

DUP MP Sammy Wilson

The DUP has said the party is united over Brexit after reports that its politicians are split on whether the backstop should be removed or changed.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson last week said the party would vote against any type of backstop.

He stated that if the government wanted to be sure of the support of the DUP's 10 MPs in the House of Commons, it would have to ditch the backstop entirely.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has previously indicated that a time-limited backstop would be acceptable, and deputy leader Nigel Dodds has also suggested the party would accept a temporary backstop.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell yesterday dismissed "stories of division" and said the party was focused "on the big picture of standing up for Northern Ireland and delivering a deal which works for London and Belfast, not just Dublin".

Mr Campbell said: "Of course there were unionists who voted Remain in 2016. Homes up and down the country were divided on either side of that debate. The party accepted that at the time of the referendum.

"But the referendum is over. The UK voted to leave the EU. The result must be respected and implemented."

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In a statement yesterday, Mr Dodds said the EU couldn't continue to "hark back" to the draft Withdrawal Agreement which had been "comprehensively rejected" by MPs.

"Whether it is the European Council or former UK Prime Ministers, it's time to dial down the rhetoric and focus on solutions rather than scaremongering," he said.

"If the political will is there then an agreement can be achieved. The alternative is to cling to an unacceptable backstop which actually increases the chances of an outcome it was supposedly designed to prevent."

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