Divide and Rule: DUP Slams ‘Degrading’ EU Offer to Let UK Leave Backstop Minus Northern Ireland

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
JACK MONTGOMERY

The Democratic Unionist Party has slammed the EU’s “degrading proposal” to allow Britain to leave the “backstop” envisioned in Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal without their permission — as long as Northern Ireland is left behind.

The Withdrawal Agreement, already rejected by Parliament in a so-called “meaningful vote” but due to come before MPs again by March 12th, possibly unchanged, would see the British government hand Brussels an estimated £39 billion in exchange for a “transition” period in which the UK would essentially remain in the EU, minus its voting rights, while negotiations continue.

If the transition concludes without a final deal being reached, the Withdrawal Agreement stipulates that it is either extended by mutual agreement, or the two parties fall into an indefinite “backstop” arrangement in which Northern Ireland would be effectively annexed to the EU Customs Union while mainland Great Britain would enter a parallel, EU-controlled “single customs territory” — an arrangement the British government would not be allowed to terminate without the EU’s permission.

The EU had appeared unwilling to compromise on the backstop since the deal’s initial rejection — but now, in what is supposedly an attempt at compromise, Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier has said the bloc will consider Great Britain to leave it unilaterally — provided Northern Ireland is left behind.

“Rather than engage constructively to get a deal, bully boy Barnier and the EU cabal are retreating to a position that Theresa May herself has claimed no UK Prime Minster could sign up to,” said Sammy Wilson MP, Brexit spokesman for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) — which supports leaving the EU and is determined to maintain the Province’s status as an integral part of the United Kingdom, in line with the wishes of most of its residents.

“This degrading proposal, which is a clear attempt to break up the [British] Union, will be rejected by Parliament and rightly so,” Wilson vowed.

“Barnier claims that the integrity of the EU is sacrosanct yet is quite content to run a coach and horses through the Union of the UK. Parliament will give him the clear answer his insult deserves,” he predicted.

The United Kingdom is on course to finally leave the European Union, with or without a deal, on March 29th, per the European Union (Withdrawal) Act of 2018 — although much of the country’s largely europhile political class are mounting increasingly determined efforts to delay Brexit and re-run the 2016 referendum.

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