Belfast Telegraph

Boris Johnson Brexit deal 'threat to Northern Ireland stability,' says DUP's Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

The DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said the Prime Minister's Brexit deal would create further instability in Northern Ireland.

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Boris Johnson is intent on getting his agreement with the EU through parliament should he win a majority in the December General Election.

However, the DUP are vehemently against the agreement as it effectively puts a border down the Irish Sea.

On BBC 4's Today Programme Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said it would "destabilise Northern Ireland's relationship with the rest of the UK" and be "disadvantageous" to the Northern Ireland economy.

"Clearly there isn't a single major party in Northern Ireland that supports the Prime Minister's Brexit deal, and that's a major problem for us because if this deal is imposed, I believe it will create further instability and we certainly don't need that," he said.

"We believe the Prime Minister needs to look again at this idea of creating a border in the Irish Sea."

Asked if the deal was a threat to peace, Sir Jeffrey said: "I think it is a threat to stability, I don't think that it's a threat to peace per se."

DUP leader Arlene Foster has ruled out the party working with a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government should election results put the party in Downing Street.

Sir Jeffrey described the prospect as "disastrous for the UK," however, he was more open to working with the party if it had a new leader.

"It would depend on what their platform was, we'd have to look at that very carefully," he said.

Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy was asked if his party's candidates would take their seats in Westminster even if they were a position to stop Brexit.

Mr Murphy said "the Democratic Unionist Party represent the minority view" in Northern Ireland.

"The reality is that the British people want to leave the European Union and I imagine, whatever formation of parliament takes place on the other side of this, that would be the case."

On whether Sinn Fein could be in a position to block Brexit if the party took its seats, he added: "We have no interest in defining the political future for the people of Britain."

He continued: "There is no good outcome for Brexit for us at all, whether we get the deal that Boris Johnson's proposing or however Britain exists the European Union, but we have fought where our voices have counted, and they certainly would have not have counted in Westminster.

"We have fought where our voices have counted to protect the interests of the people that we represent here."

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