DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP has warned that treating Northern Ireland separately to Great Britain, in terms of single market regulations or customs provisions, would erect barriers to trade with our biggest market. Mr Dodds made his comments after Sinn Fein released a joint statement with the Alliance Party, SDLP and Green Party calling for Northern Ireland to remain part of the Customs Union and Single Market.

Mr Dodds said:
“The joint statement from the four parties is silent about the catastrophic damage that would be done to Northern Ireland if we were to be separated economically from our main market ie the rest of the UK.

"It is devoid of reality since even the Labour party has made clear that the UK is leaving the Single Market and cannot stay in the Customs Union.

"And it is politically ironic since its main author, Sinn Fein, calls for it to be heard while it simultaneously prevents the formation of the Executive, the recall of the Assembly, and actually boycotts Westminster where the main decisions are being discussed and decided.

"As we leave the EU, it is vital Northern Ireland moves in lockstep with our main market except where it makes practical sense, for example, in the areas of the Single Electricity Market or animal health as we have at present.. Treating Northern Ireland separately to Great Britain, in terms of single market regulations or customs provisions, would erect barriers to trade with our biggest market. That is not in the economic interests of anyone here, regardless of their background or political persuasion.

"Both the Labour Party and Conservative Party recognise that remaining in the Customs Union means you are subject to EU rules and trade policy without having any say. The UK’s markets would be opened to EU trade deals with no right to benefit from them.

"Any so called backstop arrangement must be a UK-wide solution because the DUP position is very clear - that there can be no border in the Irish Sea.

"The four parties who have released this statement have agreed a position but are they united on how that voice should be heard? The place for these discussions to happen is at Westminster and in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

"It is unacceptable to have one party refusing to go to Westminster, refusing to have local Ministers take decisions and who are now saying they don’t want any decisions taken at all. We should have a united position from all parties that this vacuum cannot continue. Decisions must be taken to benefit our community.

"The DUP wants to see a sensible Brexit which works for Northern Ireland economically and politically.”

ENDS

 




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