House has rallied to the unionist position: Dodds

Share this article

The DUP’s Westminster leader Nigel Dodds last night hailed the vote on the backstop, saying that the Commons had “rallied behind the unionist position”.

Speaking to the News Letter after the major vote on Sir Graham Brady’s amendment, the North Belfast MP said that it was a significant moment.

Nigel Dodds MP, the DUP leader at Westminster, speaking in the House of Commons alongside party colleagues shortly after the so-called Brady amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement, proposing to ditch the backstop, was backed by the House of Commons with DUP votes. Screengrab taken from Parliament.tv January 29, 2019

Nigel Dodds MP, the DUP leader at Westminster, speaking in the House of Commons alongside party colleagues shortly after the so-called Brady amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement, proposing to ditch the backstop, was backed by the House of Commons with DUP votes. Screengrab taken from Parliament.tv January 29, 2019

“This is the first positive vote as to what the Commons would support. Before it was negative votes that people would not support,” he said.

“The backstop is now the only major stumbling block to the agreement and that is what the House of Commons said tonight.

“The Commons has rallied behind the unionist position, which is very significant.

“The majority for that Graham Brady amendment is very, very significant.

“The way forward to a majority in Parliament is now clear.”

Mr Dodds said that the size of the majorities against what were seen as anti-Brexit amendments from Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve “took those who want to extend Article 50 by surprise”.

He added: “People have asked what will Parliament accept, and they got their answer tonight.

“It is a good night for Northern Ireland. The main issue that would damage the integrity of the Union has been addressed.”

When asked about the EU’s immediately dismissive response, the DUP deputy leader said: “That is entirely to be expected, no-one is in the least bit surprised.”