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DUP says opposition to withdrawal deal has been vindicated

Nigel Dodds’ assessment comes after almost a week of political chaos at Westminster over the draft deal.


DUP Deputy leader Nigel Dodds (Jonathan Brady/PA)

DUP Deputy leader Nigel Dodds (Jonathan Brady/PA)

DUP Deputy leader Nigel Dodds (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Democratic Unionist MP Nigel Dodds said his party’s opposition to Theresa May’s withdrawal treaty has been vindicated.

The Prime Minister has faced significant political turbulence and widespread criticism since unveiling her draft withdrawal deal for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union last week.

A number of Cabinet ministers resigned in protest, including Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, and there has been talk of a no confidence vote in Mrs May.

Even Jeremy Corbyn gets itNigel Dodds

The Prime Minister hit back at her Tory rivals on Sunday, warning that a change of leadership would not make it easier to get a deal past Parliament or the EU.

However, the criticism is also coming from outside the Conservative Party.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has claimed his party could get a better deal, while Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed her MPs would vote against the deal when it goes before Parliament.

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There are doubts whether Mrs May’s accord will attract enough votes to be passed by the House of Commons.

On Saturday, Sinn Fein President Mary-Lou McDonald ruled out the possibility of her party’s seven MPs making the historic move of taking their seats at Westminster to back the deal.

Mr Dodds said the “damning criticism spelt out how dangerous this withdrawal agreement is”.

“These are exactly the reasons why Northern Ireland unionism stands united in opposition to this draft Withdrawal Agreement,” he said.

“This deal would place a trade border in the Irish Sea, subject us to EU rules without any power to influence or change them and binds us to the EU with no unilateral ability to leave. Indeed, Northern Ireland is part of the EU customs union not the UK’s.

“Even Jeremy Corbyn gets it, although nationalists and republicans here are desperate for him to stop saying it.”

Mr Dodds added: “I understand why some people fear a ‘no deal’ scenario. But the choice is between this very bad deal and the right deal.

“With MPs on all sides of the House pointing to the dangers for the Union of the Withdrawal Agreement, it is clear that it is time to work for a better deal which does not undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom.”

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