Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019

Northern Ireland will be sacrificed for Brexit, warns Jim Nicholson

A former Ulster Unionist MEP has said that Northern Ireland is set to be the
A former Ulster Unionist MEP has said that Northern Ireland is set to be the "sacrificial lamb" so that the rest of the UK can leave the European Union. (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

A former Ulster Unionist MEP has said that Northern Ireland is set to be the "sacrificial lamb" so that the rest of the UK can leave the European Union.

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In an open letter, Jim Nicholson, who served as a Member of the European Parliament for Northern Ireland for 30 years, said Brexit has caused deep and serious divisions in the UK and that "we are a nation deeply divided".

He added that Thursday's election will have a major impact on the future of the UK and believes the Union has not faced a greater threat for decades.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is determined on getting his agreement with the EU through Parliament should he win a majority in the General Election.

However, Mr Nicholson is against the agreement as it will effectively put a border down the Irish Sea.

He was also critical of the DUP and accused the party of failing to successfully defend the Union.

"We will be set adrift with a border in the Irish Sea," stated Mr Nicholson. "This will be disastrous for Northern Ireland and unionism in the long term."

East Antrim's DUP Westminster candidate Sammy Wilson said that unionism is united in opposition to the Prime Minister's Brexit proposals, citing the election pacts between his party and the UUP in North Belfast and Fermanagh-South Tyrone.

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