UUP Call For Legal Changes To PM's Deal

The leader of the Ulster Unionists has branded the assurances extended by the EU to the UK over the Brexit backstop as "worthless", unless they are followed by changes to the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement.

It follows Prime Minister Theresa May's plea to MP's to support the deal in tomorrow's vote, which she based on a letter from EU officials containing assurances that the Northern Ireland backstop would merely be a temporary measure, if activated.
News Image
Robin Swann MLA said: "Today's exchange between the Prime Minister and the EU Commission doesn't really move us on. We can continue exchanging letters of assurance and clarification between now and the 29th March, but only changes to the legal text will truly allay concerns.

"The fact is that the backstop would have implications for Northern Ireland and United Kingdom far beyond the time in which the signatories of these letters have left office. It is difficult to go forward in good faith when such assurances are not necessarily in the gift of those offering them at this time.

"The only document that will stand the test of time is the legal text within the Withdrawal Agreement. While some of the assurances may be a step in the right direction in acknowledging the problems thrown up by the backstop, without legal standing they are not worth the paper they are written on."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 June 2018
Council To Discuss Proposed Changes To Belfast City Marathon
Belfast City Council's City Growth and Regeneration Committee are to discuss a number of potential reforms for Belfast City Marathon. The committee is due to meet today, 27 June, to debate reforms proposed by race organisers, Belfast City Marathon Limited, which include a new course and changing the race day to Sunday.
14 March 2018
Danske Bank Warns Customers Of Fraudulent Text Messages
Danske Bank customers in Northern Ireland have been urged to report incidents of SMS text messages asking the customer to call a 0330 number.
18 September 2018
Sinn Féin Calls On Irish Govt To Stand Firm On Backstop
Sinn Féin has called on the Irish government to stand firm on the backstop agreed between the British government and the EU last December. Deputy Leader Michelle O'Neill said: "The Chequers Plan put forward by Theresa May would not resolve the issues around the border and protecting the rights of people in the north of Ireland.
27 November 2017
Boxer Carl Frampton Facing Legal Action From Cyclone Promotions
Belfast boxer Carl Frampton is facing legal action from his former trainers, his solicitor has conformed. He left Cyclone Promotions in August. His solicitor, John Finucane, confirmed legal action had been taken against him and he was "deeply disappointed" by the move. The claim is in relation to a breach of a promotional contract.
08 May 2002
Radical overhaul of legal aid system proposed
In a major shake-up of the legal aid system in Northern Ireland the administration of the system may be handed over to a new independent commission. With net expenditure on the provision of publicly-funded legal services in Northern Ireland climbing to £37.7 million in 2000/01 from £12.