Brexit: Jim Nicholson calls on PM and EU to look at other ways of resolving border backstop issue

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has called on the European Union and the Prime Minister to take stock and look at other ways of resolving the issue of the border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland post-Brexit.

Commenting after Theresa May met with other EU leaders in Brussels yesterday, Mr Nicholson said that the possible extension of the transition period for the UK leaving the EU would not be ideal.

Jim Nicholson MEP.' Pic by Pacemaker

Jim Nicholson MEP.' Pic by Pacemaker

Jim Nicholson MEP said: “As I have already stated, it would be foolish for the Prime Minister to rush through a bad deal for the sake of getting something over the line. These decisions could have ramifications for our country for decades and generations to come. Brussels has been very adept at using the border issue to make life difficult for the Prime Minister and the United Kingdom.

“At the same time, it has to be said that extending the transition period is not ideal – we would essentially be EU members without any representation or decision making powers, yet would still be required to pay the EU huge sums of money. It is easy to see why Brussels might like that idea.

“Both parties should now take stock and look at other ways of resolving the issue of the UK’s border with the Republic of Ireland. It is clear that the ‘backstop’ proposals aren’t working. When the fudge was agreed in December the intention was that it would speed up progress. In fact the opposite has been the case and now negotiations are teetering over the edge. It has made progress more difficult rather than less difficult.

“We must move away from the idea that the only options are a border down the Irish Sea or no deal.”