Scottish Tories oppose ‘special’ NI plan

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has welcomed the fact that Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson and her party colleague, Scottish Secretary David Mundell, have promised to resign if different Brexit arrangements are imposed on NI compared to the rest of the UK.

In a letter to the Prime Minister the pair said the issue had implications for Scotland’s position in the union.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

“Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations,” their letter said. “Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on all Ireland basis (eg Agriculture), or can be brought under the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom.” The letter added: “We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the Union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK, beyond what currently exists.”

DUP MP Gregory Campbell responded that some people “perpetuate a myth” that the only people who care about the Union are NI unionists. “However, that is far from the case,” he said.

“Ruth Davidson’s position is not borne out of enthusiastic support for leaving the European Union; she was an advocate for Remain,” he said. “However, Ruth Davidson recognises the impact of placing an international style border down the Irish Sea. She understands that such an outcome would be seized upon by separatists within the United Kingdom.

“The DUP wants to see a sensible deal which maintains the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. We will stand up for Northern Ireland but most important is the union between us all. It is very clear that those same objectives are shared by many others across the United Kingdom. Both those who were ‘Leave’ as well as those who were ‘Remain’ recognise that the four countries are stronger together.”