PM's proposals meet EU objectives better than backstop: David Trimble
Former First Minister David Trimble has said Boris Johnson's proposals for post-Brexit Northern Ireland meet the EU's original aims better than their 'Irish backstop' plan.
In an article for Conservative Home, written jointly with Roderick Crawford, the former UUP leader - now a Conservative peer - says the backstop plan fails to protect the Belfast Agreement, and undermines the basis of north-south co-operation.
The authors claim the EU has constantly moved the negotiating goalposts - under pressure from the Dublin Government. They argue that the new proposals put forward by the UK Government should be given a fair hearing.
"They seek to replace a backstop that has failed to meet the objectives set out in both the original negotiating guidelines and in the Northern Ireland Protocol itself.
"There is little doubt that these new UK proposals do meet, in full, the original objectives set by the EU, and that they make a better job of negotiating the trade-offs required where the EU's objectives conflict with one another than the current backstop," they write.
Lord Trimble was one of the key negotiators of the Belfast Agreement. Along with SDLP leader John Hume, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to peace in Northern Ireland.