DUP gambled the Union for a hard Brexit: UUP

The DUP gambled the future of the Union on securing a hard Brexit – and failed, the Ulster Unionists have said.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 9:51 am
UUP MLA Roy Beggs with Larne Port – where EU officials will oversee the new Irish Sea border –in the background

Last week it was confirmed that the Irish Sea border will begin on January 1 and Boris Johnson dropped his controverisal clauses in the Internal Market Bill which would have broken international law by overriding what he agreed to a year ago.

Last week it was also confirmed that EU officials will be based in Northern Ireland overseeing the checks at ports such as Larne and Belfast on behalf of Brussels.

UUP MLA Roy Beggs, in whose East Antrim constituency the Port of Larne sits, said that “responsibility lies at the feet of the DUP, who gambled our future on a desire for a hard Brexit. The DUP have failed in what should be the primary task of a unionist – protecting the Union.”

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“Last week, it was established beyond doubt that despite denials, the DUP supported a regulatory Border in the Irish Sea on October 2, 2019 when they welcomed Boris Johnson’s proposals.

“The Prime Minister’s text included Border Inspection Posts at Northern Ireland ports, the checking of goods coming from GB to NI and the continued jurisdiction of the European Court in our affairs. No person who voted for Brexit, as encouraged to do so by the DUP, was expecting such damage to be done to our country.

“By the time the DUP caught themselves on, the damage was done, and Boris Johnson did the Withdrawal deal with the EU on October 17, 2019. During that 15-day period, he was able to show Brussels and Dublin that he had unionist support for his Irish Sea Border plan.”

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Alistair Bushe