Belfast Telegraph

'We didn't spend 30 years stopping IRA to allow PM and EU to give united Ireland by back door' says Labour MP Kate Hoey

Kate Hoey speaks at a Leave Means Leave
Kate Hoey speaks at a Leave Means Leave "Save Brexit" rally at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London. Photo credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

Northern Ireland born Labour MP Kate Hoey has said that Prime Minister Theresa May and "a few jumped-up EU bureaucrats" must not be allowed to facilitate a united Ireland "by the back door".

Mrs Hoey was speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally in London on Friday night. Among the other speakers were the DUP's Brexit spokesperson Sammy Wilson, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Mrs Hoey was born in Mallusk, Co Antrim and studied at the Belfast Royal Academy and University of Ulster before moving to England.

She has served as the Labour MP for Vauxhall since 1989. Mrs Hoey has campaigned strongly for Brexit, despite her constituency voting overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU.

The Labour MP was heavily criticised in February when she said that the Good Friday Agreement was "unsustainable".

Speaking at the Leave Means Leave rally Mrs Hoey said she was "very proud to be pro-union".

"We didn't spend 30 years in Northern Ireland stopping IRA terrorists killing soldiers, police, and civilians, in order to get a United Ireland to allow a few jumped-up EU bureaucrats and a complicit prime minister to try and do the same thing by the back door," she said.

"Even more ridiculous is that it would not even be in the economic interests of Northern Ireland who depend so much of their trade, to and from Britain. Why is a British Prime Minister dancing to the tune of an Irish Taoiseach? There's no need for a hard border and there's no need for a backstop."

Northern Ireland comedian Patrick Kielty, an outspoken critic of Brexit, reacted angrily to Mrs Hoey's comments.

"She’s right. We didn’t. We’ve spent 20 years building peace in Northern Ireland. Then seen a United Ireland become more possible thanks to a few jumped up Brexiteers who say they’re actually Unionists," he wrote on Twitter.

Sammy Wilson
Sammy Wilson

"You couldn’t make it up (so they do instead)."

Speaking at the rally East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said that the DUP did not want "assurances" on Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit withdrawal deal.

Mr Wilson said that that they did not want Mrs May's deal "full stop".

The DUP is unhappy that the deal will see Northern Ireland aligned with EU rules and remain part of the single market with checks on some goods coming in from the UK to Northern Ireland, if the Brexit backstop is implemented.

“It was thought we ten DUP MPs could make or break this deal. We have become an irrelevancy. Because there are that many MPs against it we might as well sit at home," Mr Wilson said.

Former UKIP boss Nigel Farage told the rally that he felt a second referendum was now inevitable and urged people to vote Leave in even greater numbers so there could be no doubting the will of the UK to leave the EU.

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