Ian Paisley Jr: ‘House of Lords report is doing Dublin’s bidding over Brexit’

DUP MP for North Antrim, Ian Paisley Jnr,  at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, for the counting of the votes in the EU referendum,on the night that Brexit won. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
DUP MP for North Antrim, Ian Paisley Jnr, at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, for the counting of the votes in the EU referendum,on the night that Brexit won. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

A House of Lords report on the effect of Brexit has suggested that Northern Ireland should have a special status.

This code for keeping Northern Ireland in the European Union while the rest of UK leaves.

It is utterly preposterous and against the will of the United Kingdom people.

My constituency was in the top ten Vote Leave constituencies across the UK.

The latest report is an attempt to do the bidding of Dublin over the needs of Northern Ireland.

The fact is that all the alleged benefits that NI has gained from EU membership have been derived because of its status as part of the UK and paid for exclusively with UK money administered from Brussels.

It’s easy to call the shots when someone else is paying.

The report is calculated to assist the needs of Dublin’s businesses, especially the agri-food businesses at the expense of the UK and NI. Those local politicians who support special status actually want NI business to suffer and for Dublin’s businesses to grow instead.

It’s not the first time we have seen misplaced loyalty and won’t be the last.

Those who support the report have succumbed to Dublin propaganda that is driven by a well-founded fear that once the comfort blanket of the UK leaving the EU is removed, the Republic will be on its own facing significant EU bills that it is unable to pay.

What is more, its trade, the vast majority of which is with the Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will be subject to a new trade deal.

Such a new trade deal will be in NI and GB interests and Dublin will be on the back foot.

Little wonder there is pandemonium in Dublin about Brexit!

The report failed to understand the political and business realities of what is really going on and fell for the usual balcony from Dublin which only has its own interests at heart and would happily screw over NI.

The House of Lords have even resorted to repeating the offensive scare stories that peace agreements could end unless the customs union is left in place.

The fact is most Irish citizens don’t know the difference between the ‘customs union’ and the ‘single market.’

The real issue for Dublin that the House of Lords missed or perhaps ignored is that the gravy train is over and they are facing that sobering reality.

The report failed to consider other more beneficial moves for the Republic including joining a trade agreement with the commonwealth and leaving the EU themselves.

After all, not so long ago the ROI citizens rejected the Lisbon treaty on first ask.

NI stands to gain significantly from leaving the EU.

Our agriculture industry stands to benefit from access to markets and commodity trading that has been steadfastly denied to us.

Already NI trading position is outpacing the Republic and our employment position is much stronger.

Only a few years ago the ROI had to rely on a UK bailout to prevent bankruptcy all conveniently ignored by the Lords.

Clearly the upper house needs to wake up to the fact that all of the UK is leaving the EU and promoting special status is a diversion and distraction from that reality.

It’s about time the House of Lords committee worked for the interest of the UK as a whole and not those of a neighbouring state.

• Ian Paisley is DUP MP for North Antrim