Brexit

Sinn Féin Brexit plans 'cynical and toothless'

Diane Dodds MEP

SINN Féin Brexit plans are `cynical and toothless', a DUP MEP has claimed.

Diane Dodds was responding to the release of a no deal Brexit contingencies policy paper.

Sinn Féin outlined a €2billion package of measures it said would help protect Ireland from the potential economic damage of a crash Brexit.

The document said the people of Ireland did not agree to Brexit and the imposition of hard border adding the north voted to remain in the EU.

Read More: DUP letter urges unionists to prepare for border poll

It called for voting rights in EU elections for people in the north and a timeline for a border poll shortened in the event of a hard Brexit.

But Mrs Dodds said this was more about "electoral manoeuvres in the Irish Republic than addressing the genuine concerns of businesses and communities across Northern Ireland".

"Sinn Féin is more interested in launching toothless policy papers than taking their seats in the House of Commons where their voice and votes could actually make a difference," she said.

"The DUP supports making strong no deal preparations which give maximum certainty to businesses, households and families. Working toward a fairer deal which secures legally-binding changes to the draft withdrawal agreement that address the flawed backstop must be our continued priority."

Ian Knox cartoon 6/2/19: Theresa May arrives in Belfast saying that her commitment to not implementing a hard border is "unshakeable" - even as her government edges ever closer to crashing out of the EU without a deal 

Read more: DUP seek to quell border poll talk amid warnings on both sides of Irish Sea over no deal

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, meanwhile, said whilst the focus will return to Brexit in parliament this week, the backstop remains the central problem and "it must be dealt with".

"The prime minister has committed to securing legally binding changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Those changes will be required for parliament to support any deal," he said.

"The EU cannot continue to hark back to a proposed deal which was comprehensively rejected by the House of Commons. There is no agreement without parliament's support.

"Some of the language and rhetoric employed last week was not conducive to making progress and securing the agreement we all want to see. Whether it is the European Council or former UK prime ministers. It's time to dial down the rhetoric and focus on solutions rather than scaremongering.

"Over the next number of weeks the options will become increasingly clear, particularly for the European Union. If the political will is there then an agreement can be achieved.

"The alternative is to cling to an unacceptable backstop which actually increases the chances of an outcome it was supposedly designed to prevent. It can make no sense for anyone to continue pursuing such a perverse policy."

 

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