Brexit: Unionists must do everything possible to defeat this pernicious deal, says Jim Allister

TUV leader Jim Allister has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of “betraying both Brexit and Northern Ireland” with the draft withdrawal deal.

After studying what he described as “the fiendishly complicated text of the withdrawal agreement”, the North Antrim MLA claimed “it amounts to a far more insidious betrayal of both Brexit and Northern Ireland than I had anticipated.”

Jim Allister MLA

Jim Allister MLA

“At the national level it leaves us all shackled to the EU’s customs union, in patent repudiation of the essence of Brexit, and, additionally, for Northern Ireland it leaves us entrapped in both the customs union and the EU single market in perpetuity, with a resulting border down the Irish Sea inevitable. The crippling of Northern Ireland’s GB-linked economy will follow,” he said.

Arguing that the agreement is “built on the supremacy of EU law”, Mr Allister continued: “We will remain wholly subservient not just to the rules of the EU’s single market (in which we will have no say), but to their exclusive interpretation by the European Court of Justice. We will not have left the EU but become a Brussels protectorate in the worst of colonial traditions.”

Warning that when Great Britain leaves the customs union Northern Ireland will be “abandoned to the machinations of Brussels”, Mr Allister added: “Our only hope now is that this treacherous deal is defeated in the House of Commons. If not, then the template of this deal is clear – Northern Ireland is to be held in a waiting room till by its stealth Irish unification is obtained.

“It behoves every unionist – whether in Northern Ireland or Great Britain – to do everything possible to defeat this pernicious deal.”