Nigel Dodds has warned of “economic misery” if the Republic succeeds in “sucking Northern Ireland” back towards the EU.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, the DUP deputy leader pressed Tory MP Shailesh Vara, Northern Ireland Under-Secretary, for further assurances about the UK’s integrity.
In February, the Prime Minister had declared emphatically that “no UK prime minster could ever agree to” something which would “threaten the constitutional integrity of the UK”.
Mr Dodds, MP for North Belfast, asked if Mr Vara would “reaffirm” the the UK – “economically, politically and constitutionally” will stay intact.
Mr Vara responded by saying: “I can absolutely give the right honourable gentleman that assurance – the economic and constitutional integrity of the UK will remain intact.”
Mr Dodds went on to add that keeping Northern Ireland, but not Great Britain, in the customs union would inflict “economic misery on all of our constituents”.
He added that when “Leo Varadkar talks about ‘not leaving Northern Ireland behind’, what he means is sucking Northern Ireland into the institutions of the EU – which would be economically disastrous for all our citizens”.
Once again, Mr Vara assured Mr Dodds that the Prime Minister will never compromise the integrity of the UK.
“There is no question whatsoever of having a border in the Irish Sea,” he told the House.