Sammy Wilson not out of step over EU policy: DUP

DUP MP Sammy Wilson (right) with Ukip leader Nigel Farage at a Leave.EU event last week
DUP MP Sammy Wilson (right) with Ukip leader Nigel Farage at a Leave.EU event last week

Sammy Wilson is not in conflict with DUP policy by backing a campaign for an EU referendum exit vote, the party has said.

The East Antrim MP was pictured with Ukip leader Nigel Farage at a Leave.EU event last week, and in a press release on Wednesday said David Cameron was “not serious about ensuring that the UK got a better deal from Europe”.

Mr Wilson said that the Prime Minister’s “demand for minimal changes” to the terms of our EU membership was “pathetic,” and that the only course of action “was to negotiate a relationship which fell short of EU membership”.

He added: “Given the determination of the majority of EU institutions and the heads of the major states in Europe to forge a federal Europe in which all countries would be corralled into a one size fits all Europe superstate, the UK would be better off out.”

Ukip NI leader David McNarry has accused the DUP of sending out “mixed messages” on EU membership.

He said: “At our regional conference at the weekend, I called for DUP to quit fence-sitting on the issue of leaving the EU.

“The person we now need to hear from is Diane Dodds MEP. Is she still tethered to the fence, while Sammy Wilson has jumped over it?”

However, a DUP statement said the party supported a renegotiation of the UK’s membership terms, and added: “At Westminster our MPs have been at the forefront of the campaign for a referendum on the European Union.”

A party spokesman later added that there is a degree of frustration with the PM’s approach – with Mr Wilson “a bit more frustrated than most”.