11/01/2019

DUP Slam NI Secretary's Ultimatum On Post-Brexit Peace Funding

The DUP has hit out at Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley's announcement of £300million in peace funding for the region, branding it "appalling and distasteful".

The comments from the Stormont party's MEP, Diane Dodds, come after Mrs Bradley unveiled the UK Government funding package but appeared to tie the money to the Prime Minister's Brexit deal and the fight to get it through Parliament next week.

The scheme is designed to continue support for peace-building projects up until 2027 and includes an additional £109m of EU money.

Mrs Dodds said that ahead of the crucial vote on Tuesday 15 January, it is "disgraceful and disingenuous" of the Secretary to manipulate the issue of peace funding as a bargaining chip to secure more votes for a "flawed deal".

"For Mrs Bradley to imply that the UK government could choose not to demonstrate similar good faith if a deal is not ultimately reached is a distasteful bluff.
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"It is an appalling snub of the vital needs of communities impacted by years of violence and division in Northern Ireland, including innocent victims of terrorism. This intervention reflects her position as a bystander in the affairs of our Province to date."

The DUP MEP continued her frustrated statement by demanding clarity from the UK Government on post-Brexit matters.

"The Prime Minister has already discarded Paragraph 50 of the December Joint Report which would have given Stormont a legally-binding veto over new regulatory barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. That Report also included a mutual pledge to exploring the potential for future peace support favourably. Sadly, we are now led to question whether this commitment is also in jeopardy.

"The DUP believes it is wrong that the interests of individuals, projects and communities relying on peace funding should be exploited for short-term advantage at Westminster.

"The Prime Minister must move to clarify the Government position and to reiterate all-weather commitments to peace funding in Northern Ireland in all eventualities."



(JG/CM)

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