DUP Confirms it Will Vote Against Prime Minister’s Brexit Deal

Sammy Wilson, the Brexit spokesperson for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has confirmed that it will not back the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. The confirmation, although expected, will make it harder for Theresa May to secure his favoured withdrawal agreement.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Wilson said:

“It’s not just because of the regulations which Northern Ireland would be subject to with the backstop, but also the fact we would have to treat the rest of the United Kingdom as a third country, we would not participate in any trade deals which the United Kingdom may enter into in the future and we would find that there would be a border down the Irish Sea which would impede trade with our biggest trading partner, namely GB”.

Nigel Dodds, the deputy leader of the DUP, said in a statement:

“The Irish Republic’s ‘no deal’ preparations published just before Christmas have laid bare the nonsense propaganda about a hard border. No one wants a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Indeed, its becoming clearer by the day that no one is ever going to construct such a border. With this clarity emerging in London, Dublin and Brussels, there is evidently no need for the aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement which have been so vigorously opposed by a broad cross section of the House of Commons”.

No Agreement on Power Sharing in Northern Ireland

No agreement has been reached following power sharing talks in Northern Ireland after the elections which were held on 2 March 2017. The two largest parties in the Assembly, Sinn Fein and the DUP, failed to reach agreement and have blamed each other for the delay, with the deadline for agreement now exceeded.

Nigel Dodds, the Deputy Leader of the DUP, said:

“It is very clear from the people they had at the talks that they were very focused on their southern election prospects, that is deeply regrettable”.

Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Fein, said:

“The DUP’s approach thus far has been to engage in a minimalist way on all of the key issues, including legacy issues, an Irish Language Act, a Bill of Rights, and marriage equality”.

James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has said that he will continue to try to reach agreement with the major parties in the process. He said on Sunday 26 March 2017:

“I have spoken to the Prime Minister this afternoon and this remains the UK government’s continuing priority”.