Belfast Telegraph

Lady Sylvia Hermon ‘needs assurances from PM’ to back EU withdrawal deal

The North Down MP says she is ‘not happy with everything’ in the draft agreement.

Northern Ireland’s sole independent MP has said she is considering voting for the proposed EU withdrawal agreement.

Lady Sylvia Hermon (North Down) said she will need “personal assurances” from the Prime Minister before she commits to supporting the bill when it comes before the House of Commons.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics programme, Lady Hermon said she expects to meet Theresa May to discuss her potential support for the deal.

Mrs May has faced increased speculation about her future after key figures including Brexit secretary Dominic Raab dramatically quit her Cabinet because they could not support the deal.

Several Tory MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in Mrs May as Conservative leader, with sources now indicating the number sent to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, may be nearing the 48 needed to trigger a leadership challenge.

I would be very surprised if I were ever to find myself on the same page as Sammy Wilson and Jacob Rees-Mogg Lady Sylvia Hermon

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the Democratic Unionists will vote against the deal.

Lady Hermon, who represents the constituency of North Down, said she is “not happy with everything” in the agreement but said having no deal would be worse for unionism.

“There are things I need clarification from the Prime Minister herself. I need her to look me in the face and say ‘don’t be worried about that’ or ‘I can guarantee this’,” she told Inside Politics.

“I need assurances from the Prime Minister before I will finally give my vote to this particular deal.

“However, I would be very surprised if I were ever to find myself on the same page as Sammy Wilson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.”

Lady Hermon also revealed she was “in discussions” with Mrs May about setting up a meeting.

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