Jim Allister: DUP embraced a letter that had a pro-EU tone

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The first ministers’ letter to the prime minister will come as a major disappointment to all who voted for and believed that across the UK Brexit would mean Brexit.

The first ministers’ letter to the prime minister will come as a major disappointment to all who voted for and believed that across the United Kingdom Brexit would mean Brexit.

This letter illustrates an overriding desire by the DUP to pander to the Sinn Fein position of seeking to row back on the decision of our nation to leave the EU.

The tone and content of this letter is so strongly pro-EU that it is hard to imagine it is co-authored by a party that campaigned for Brexit.

Accentuating demands which would set Northern Ireland’s relationship with the EU apart from that of the rest of the nation will result in a weakening of our integral position within the United Kingdom.

If there is no freedom of movement of labour into the UK, as should be a key consequence of Brexit, then, there can be no exception regarding Northern Ireland.

I am also disappointed that the letter makes no mention of the many positives of Brexit.

Where is the talk of Northern Ireland business taking advantage of the trade deals which a post-Brexit UK will have free from the protectionist confines of the EU?

Importantly where is the demand that the UK recovers control of its fishing waters and allows our once thriving ports to recover outside the common fisheries policy?

Instead, it echoes the pessimism of the defeated Remainers.

Jim Allister, MLA North Antrim, TUV leader