Nigel Dodds: Westminster, not MEPs, will deal with Brexit arrangements

As the celebrations continue in the wake of Naomi Long’s historic European Parliament election victory, Nigel Dodds has issued a reminder that the UK’s future will be decided at Westminster.

Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 10:18 pm
Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Alliance leader Mrs Long polled an unexpected 106,000 first preference votes following a strong anti-Brexit campaign – a success hailed as being of major significance as Westminster MPs continue to wrangle over the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

However, DUP MP Mr Dodds said the House of Commons is where the influence of his party’s 10 MPs will do more to shape how Brexit progresses. Jeremy Hunt has also pledged to give the DUP and Tory Eurosceptics a say in how the Brexit negotiations are handled if he replaces Theresa May as prime minister.

Mr Dodds said: “The terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union will be negotiated between the European Union negotiating team and the government.

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There was euphoria at the count centre when Naomi Long (pictured celebrating with her husband Michael) was confirmed as an Alliance MEP. Picture: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker

“With significant influence in London, the DUP will be making our voice heard and ensuring that the government works for a sensible deal. Whilst the Northern Ireland MEPs will be in the European Parliament until we leave those institutions, it will ultimately be the European governments and UK government who will be conducting the negotiations.”

Mr Dodds added: “We will be encouraging the next prime minister to learn from the previous mistakes and implement the will of Parliament as expressed on January 29 for the Brady Amendment.

“A new prime minister will be able to take a fresh approach to negotiations and we will be urging them to stand strong against an intransigent Brussels for a better deal which works for every part of the UK.”