Sinn Fein '˜advocating economic chaos', says Dodds

The DUP have accused Sinn Fein of 'advocating for economic chaos' through its stance on the Irish border.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 1:31 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 2:34 pm
Nigel Dodds

Mr Dodds, speaking ahead of a meeting between the leadership of Sinn Féin and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier later today, stressed that the “EU’s interpretation of the back stop is not acceptable”.

The ‘back stop’ agreement would, the DUP have said, create a ‘border in the Irish Sea’ by creating a customs divide between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Mr Dodds said: “The DUP has made it clear for months that the EU’s interpretation of the back stop is not acceptable. It would undermine Northern Ireland’s economic and political integrity, cutting us off from our largest market.”

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He continued: “It has already been rejected by the Government, the Opposition and last week it was unanimously rejected by all parties in the House of Commons.

“Business Leaders have been unambiguous in highlighting the economic damage that internal borders within the United Kingdom would cause.”

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is, alongside deputy leader Michelle O’Neill, expected to “make clear” to Mr Barnier that the “agreement reached last December that a backstop solution for the Irish border will form part of the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement, and that this backstop would apply, unless and until, another solution is found,” a party spokesperson said.

Nigel Dodds, however, said: “Sinn Fein must answer why they are advocating for economic chaos in Northern Ireland.”

He continued: “In recent weeks our votes in the House of Commons have once again be critical. We will continue to use our influence to ensure the best possible outcome for all the people of Northern Ireland.

“Whilst others are reduced to glorified lobbyists, we will ensure Northern Ireland’s voice is at the heart of Government.”

Mr Dodds added: “Sinn Fein can fly to Brussels, stand on picket lines in the rain and rehearse old sound bites all they like. It will not change the fact that their will be no border in the Irish Sea.”