‘Counter Dublin’s EU propaganda’ says UUP

Robin Swann, Jim Nicholson and Guy Verhofstadt
Robin Swann, Jim Nicholson and Guy Verhofstadt

Unionists must work with the UK government to counter “Dublin’s propaganda” over Brexit, the UUP has said.

Speaking after a meeting earlier this week with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, and its Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt, UUP MEP Jim Nicholson said the Irish Government are “using their foreign affairs machine to the maximum.”

“It is up to us as Unionists, working in conjunction with our own government, to counter Dublin’s propaganda,” Mr Nicholson said.

During the meeting with Mr Barnier on Monday, his party leader Robin Swann had warned of a “growing perception” the EU was “siding with nationalism” over Brexit.

Yesterday, Mr Nicholson said: “The Irish Government claim to defend the Belfast Agreement yet seem to ignore the principle of consent as they dish out the rhetoric and manoeuvre their way around the corridors of Brussels and Strasbourg.

“The most important Union to Unionists, whether they voted to remain or leave, is the UK and we should not allow the Irish Government or its allies to peddle myths and misinformation to others.”

He continued: “Our own Government is representing us in the Brexit negotiations but there is no-one better placed than ourselves to set out the context of our unique situation to the EU. Unionists need to engage on a wide front.”

Mr Nicholson added: “If a sensible deal cannot be reached which also respects the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom it will be bad for everyone. I hope that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar understands that as well.”