Northern Ireland news

Brexit: DUP's Sammy Wilson should apologise for 'chippy' remark says SNP's Ian Blackford

The DUP's Sammy Wilson suggested people "go to the chippy" in the event of post-Brexit food shortages. Picture from Parliament.tv

SAMMY Wilson should apologise for his "shameful" comment suggesting people "go to the chippy" in the event of post-Brexit food shortages, an SNP MP has said.

The DUP MP made the remark during a speech by the SNP's Ian Blackford as part of Tuesday's Brexit debate in the Commons.

Mr Blackford was speaking about concerns from major food retailers that their shelves could be left empty if the UK leaves the European Union without a formal exit deal.

Mr Wilson could be heard shouting "go to the chippy" during Mr Blackford's speech.

The SNP MP yesterday called on Mr Wilson to apologise for his remark and accused him of putting party politics above his constituents' interests.

Read more: Allison Morris - Sammy Wilson shatters the facade of respectable responsibility (premium)

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"The discussion over a no-deal Brexit and the potential for food shortages is a deeply worrying topic," the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said.

"The threat to people's livelihoods and well-being is very real. MPs, like Mr Wilson, are fully aware of this – we have all seen the economic analysis and it does not make for good viewing.

SNP MP Ian Blackford (centre) has called on the DUP's Sammy Wilson to apologise for a comment he made in the Commons. Picture by Stefan Rousseau, Press Association

"Sammy Wilson's comments, when taking into account the debate that we were having, were shameful but I must say I am not surprised.

"Mr Wilson has not been interested in anything outside his own narrow-minded party political desires throughout this entire sorry process.

"He is not serving the people who he was elected to help with comments like 'go to the chippy', when discussing potential food shortages."

He added: "Politicians are ultimately answerable to their constituents and no doubt they will be reflecting on Mr Wilson's scant disregard for their future prosperity and well-being.

"He should apologise and reflect on what responsibilities he has as an elected official."

The DUP did not respond to requests for a comment.

SDLP deputy leader Nichola Mallon said Mr Wilson's comments showed he was out of touch with ordinary families.

"Sammy Wilson’s comments on the benches of Westminster in response to discussions about food shortages to 'send them to chippy' shows how far removed the DUP are from the hardships facing families – especially in light of welfare cuts and changes which the DUP voted to bring into Northern Ireland," she said.

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However, TUV leader Jim Allister said Mr Wilson's comments were simply a "misjudged attempt at humour".

He added there were wider issues around Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement and insisted that a rejection of the 'backstop' aimed at avoiding customs posts at the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit was not a breach of the accord.

"Go read Bt Ag (Belfast Agreement): it has nothing to say about no border etc," he wrote on Twitter.

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