Brexit: Sir Reg Empey dismisses DUP claims of ‘influence’

Sir Reg Empey said the DUP were 'out of their depth'
Sir Reg Empey said the DUP were 'out of their depth'
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The DUP has come under fire from the Ulster Unionists after claiming that they had been influential in the latest twist over Brexit in the House of Commons on Saturday.

In a statement on Sunday, DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said his party’s votes had been “significant” in the passing of the Letwin amendment.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said DUP votes were 'significant' in passing the Letwin amendment

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson said DUP votes were 'significant' in passing the Letwin amendment

“It is far from the first time that DUP votes have been crucial on the issue of Brexit,” he added. “In nearly half of all votes on the issue in Parliament, it has been DUP MPs who have ensured progress continued to be made towards our exit from the EU.

“The DUP wants to get Brexit done but it must be a Brexit for the whole of the United Kingdom. Our position has been clear and it has been consistent.

“DUP MPs supported the Letwin amendment as the only avenue available to properly scrutinise the deal on offer and attempt to secure changes that could address some of the concerns we have.”

But Sir Reg Empey, the former UUP leader, claimed the DUP “have led us to this situation” where the country “lurches from crisis to crisis”.

“They have proved to be out of their depth and find themselves in the farcical situation of now siding with arch remainers and Scottish nationalists to try and undo the damage of their own folly. With the influence they claimed to have had at Westminster, Northern Ireland should never have been put in this position,” said Sir Reg.

“It was the DUP who cheered Boris Johnson 12 months ago at their party conference, and it is they who cheered him again three weeks ago at his party conference. What happened on each occasion? Boris threw them under a bus both times.”

Mr Wilson, meanwhile, quashed any suggestions the DUP would support a second referendum.

“The DUP does not seek a second referendum, merely implementation of the first,” he added.

Meanwhile, Robin Swann says the DUP should learn their lesson and learn not to “rely on the word” of Boris Johnson in future.

The UUP leader said: “The prime minister has demonstrated that his word is certainly not his bond. If the DUP should learn anything from this debacle, it is that they should never rely on the word of Boris Johnson. They were warned on several occasions. While they were feting Boris Johnson on the national stage, they took their eye off the ball and he mugged them. In doing so the prime minister was able to produce a deal which is hugely damaging to the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.

“If the prime minister is in anyway sincere about serving the best interests of all four corners of the United Kingdom he should be engaging all the parties in Northern Ireland.”