Monday, 9 Dec 2019

BREXIT SHOCK: DUP chief calls for REMAINING in EU instead of backstop – ‘I’d rather STAY!’

Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement was defeated by MPs on Friday in the House of Commons by 286 votes to 344. Speaking shortly after the defeat, the DUP’s leading in the House of Commons, Nigel Dodds claimed he would rather “stay in the European Union” than risk Northern Ireland’s position. He told the BBC: “We are talking about issues which could improve the situation regarding the backstop.

“But, there are fundamental issues about how we get that enshrined in law.”

Asked about other options, Mr Dodds said: “We will measure whatever options are available going forward in terms of does it deliver Brexit, and does it retain the integrity of the United Kingdom economically and politically.

“We want to make sure there are no internal trade barriers, created customs or single market between Northern Ireland and the UK.

“We will look at any option. At the end of the day, why should we believe that it was right to vote to Leave?

At the end of the day why should we believe that it was right to vote Leave?

Nigel Dodds

“When we were in the European Union people were quite happy with that in Northern Ireland because we were there together with everybody else.”

Political editor of BBC’s Newsnight, Nicholas Watt, tweeted: “Nigel Dodds tells me the UK should stay in the EU if that was only way to preserve NI’s place in UK. ‘I would stay in the European Union and remain rather than risk Northern Ireland’s position. That’s how strongly I feel about the union.’”

Speaking in the Commons after the defeat, the Prime Minister said: “The European Union has been clear that any further extension will need to have a clear purpose and will need to be agreed unanimously by the heads of the other 27 member states ahead of April 12.

“It is also almost certain to involve the UK being required to hold European parliamentary elections. On Monday, this House will continue the process to see if there is a stable majority for a particular alternative version of our future relationship with the EU. Of course, all of the options will require the withdrawal agreement.

“I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House. This House has rejected no-deal. It has rejected no Brexit. On Wednesday it rejected all the variations of the deal on the table, and today it has rejected approving the Withdrawal Agreement alone and continuing a process on the future. This Government will continue to press the case for the orderly Brexit that the result of the referendum demands.”

Responding to the vote, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April.”

The UK now has until April 12 to find a solution moving forward, which could see Britain leave the bloc with no deal, or extending the Brexit process further.

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