14/12/2018

PM Must Stand Up To EU Leaders On Brexit Backstop- Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster has warned Prime Minister Theresa May that she must not roll over in the face of EU opposition.

The DUP leader released a statement, urging Mrs May to stand up to fellow European leaders and demand amendments to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

It follows the Prime Minister's bid to seek further assurances on the Northern Ireland backstop at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday 13 December, when EU leaders rejected her attempts and openly criticised her negotiating strategy.

After cancelling the House of Commons vote on her proposed withdrawal agreement, Mrs May was searching for a way to get it through parliament, insisting it was possible if she could gain legal assurance that the backstop would be temporary.

Mrs Foster, whose party is keeping the Government in power through its confidence and supply deal at Westminster, has vowed to vote against the deal if the controversial backstop is not abandoned.
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The DUP is strongly against the border plan as it would see Northern Ireland adhere to an EU regulatory framework, if the wider trade deal between the UK and EU was not secured.

The party believe such an outcome would undermine the constitutional integrity of the UK and create an economic border between NI and Great Britain.

In response to the EU's refusal to renegotiate the deal, Mrs Foster said: "The Prime Minister has promised to get legally binding changes.

"The reaction by the EU is unsurprising. They are doing what they always do.

"The key question is whether the Prime Minister will stand up to them or whether she will roll over, as has happened previously.

"This is a difficulty of the Prime Minister's own making. A deal was signed off which the Prime Minister should have known would not gain the support of Parliament.

"If the Prime Minister had listened to our warnings and stood by her public commitments, we would not be in this situation."



(JG)

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