Speaking after the Prime Minister agreed to go back to the EU to seek changes to the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement so that it could be approved by Parliament, DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP said,

“We welcome the Government’s recognition that the backstop must be dealt with. From day one when the draft withdrawal agreement was published, we rejected the backstop and argued for legally binding changes within the withdrawal agreement.  The decision to seek the reopening of the text is a sensible step forward by the Prime Minister.

The rejection of this withdrawal agreement by parliament, sent a clear message to Downing Street and Brussels, that a minor tweak, a letter of assurance or a few words of comfort were not going to deliver the consensus required.  

We want to find a solution which can win the support of parliament and the EU. That is why we have endorsed the ‘Malthouse’ alternative as a possible route forward.

The backstop would have placed a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.  A new border east-west is no more acceptable to unionists than a new border north-south would be acceptable to nationalists and republicans.  

Now is the time for the EU to stop ignoring the voice of unionists.  

The EU negotiators must recognise that undermining the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom is neither reasonable nor acceptable.  There are other ways to guarantee no hard border on the island of Ireland and it’s time for a more constructive approach by Brussels.”

ENDS




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