Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Northern Irish kingmakers: We will not support May’s Brexit deal

Northern Irish kingmakers: We will not support May’s Brexit deal

The deputy leader of the DUP, Nigel Dodds, has met with Prime Minister Theresa May to reiterate his party's opposition to the EU Withdrawal Agreement, and hit out at the "nonsense propaganda" surrounding the possibility of a hard border.

He said that among a dozen of topics discussed at Thursday's cabinet meeting, the first of its kind held by the Irish government since the New Year, the real focus was on legislation, medicine and transport to make sure that Ireland has the protections and stockpiles and everything it needs in place in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

On the matter of the Good Friday Agreement, the unionist politician noted that "The Irish government has been preparing for a No Deal scenario and in its document... they haven't mentioned anything about what they would do along the border, what hard infrastructure they would put along the border".

"The EU has made clear that this is the deal that is on the table", she said.

Mr Dodds said: "Theresa May still insists that what she has negotiated is a good deal".

"The Withdrawal Agreement, as now proposed, flies in the face of the Government's commitments on Northern Ireland as we leave the EU".

News of the potential deployment of police officers in Northern Ireland comes on the back of reports that 3,500 troops will be on standby to help deal with any disruptions in the event of a no-deal in the United Kingdom later this year.

"The EU has shown in the past that it will move but only if faced with a resolute red line on the part of the United Kingdom government", deputy DUP leader Nigel Dodds said in a statement.

The DUP has maintained that the Irish border issue has been exaggerated and represents attempts by the European Union and Ireland to force a unification of the island of Ireland.

Since Mrs May pulled the vote Mr Dodds said the DUP had engaged with the UK Government in an attempt to move forward towards a deal which could command support in the House of Commons.

"Brussels must now demonstrate that if it truly cares about Northern Ireland, then erecting a new east-west barrier should be no more palatable than having any new north-south barriers", he added.

Varadkar's advisor is due to speak to one of May's advisors on Thursday he said.

When asked if students from Northern Ireland would need an Irish passport to secure the proposed grants, Mr McHugh said the fine print had not yet been set out.

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