Sammy Wilson: DUP will back Theresa May in Commons no-confidence vote

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would table a no-confidence motion 'at a time of our choosing'
Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would table a no-confidence motion 'at a time of our choosing'

A DUP MP has reiterated his party’s pledge to back the prime minister in a no-confidence vote – provided her Brexit deal is defeated.

Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence in her government “soon”, Jeremy Corbyn has warned, as the PM issued a las- ditch plea to MPs to back her withdrawal agreement or risk staying in the EU.

The Labour leader said people should “see what happens” tomorrow, when Mrs May’s controversial draft treaty is put to a vote in the Commons, but said his party would table a confidence motion “at a time of our choosing”.

But Sammy Wilson indicated the PM had little to fear from her DUP allies in the event of such a motion.

“It is very unlikely the withdrawal deal is going to go through, and therefore I cannot see circumstances where we would find ourselves on the wrong side of a no-confidence vote,” the East Ant rim MP told the News Letter.

“The only way we would be expressing no confidence in the government is if this deal is somehow passed and the government persists in introducing legislation to give effect to it.

“If that is the case, since that legislation would in effect be destroying NI’s position within the UK and damaging our economy, then we would not acquiesce in allowing that to happen and we would do our best to stop the government and bring it down.”

With the crunch vote looming, Mrs May yesterday warned of a “catastrophic and unforgivable” breach of trust in democracy if her exit plan is defeated and the UK remains in the EU.

The prime minister pleaded with parliamentarians to “do what is right for our country” and back her deal.

But Mr Wilson declared that voting the deal down is “imperative and essential” for Northern Ireland.

“Some are suggesting a no-deal Brexit would damage Northern Ireland, but they are wrong,” he added.

“The only thing that can damage this country is the PM’s dreadful deal.

“Our hope is that it will be defeated by a massive margin, as we don’t want her trying to resurrect it again.

“It needs to be killed dead in the water, which gives us the option to try and get a deal that will work.”

Mr Wilson maintained that if the deal is heavily voted down, it will introduce “a degree of certainty which we don’t have at present”.

He added: “Once it is off the table for good, the worries people have about how the backstop arrangement would affect the Northern Ireland economy and constitutional position will be removed.”