The DUP’s Westminster Leader, Nigel Dodds, has savaged the European Union’s latest intervention. It is looking increasingly unlikely that Theresa May will get her unchanged deal through Parliament.
Responding to the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, Dodds said: “Nothing new in what Barnier is offering. This is a retreat back to the proposal of an Northern Ireland only backstop previously rejected by all sides in the House of Commons.”
And in a statement Dodds was even more emphatic, insisting: “This is neither a realistic nor sensible proposal from Michel Barnier. It disrespects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. This is an attempt to get ahead of a possible blame game and appear positive when in reality it is going backwards to something rejected a year ago.
“As the Prime Minister has said, ‘no United Kingdom Prime Minister’ could sign up to an arrangement which annexes Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
“Whilst the European Union has spoken often about their value of the peace process in Northern Ireland, this proposal demonstrates that they have a one-sided approach and a lack of understanding about the divisions in Northern Ireland. Just as nationalists and republicans oppose a new north-south border, unionists oppose any new east-west border which would place a new barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
“We need to work for a sensible deal which can work for everyone in Northern Ireland. It is possible but there must be less intransigence in Brussels.”
The EU still don’t think the UK will leave with No Deal, meaning they have little incentive to shift. When will the British government reiterate to Brussels that No Deal is still better than a bad deal?