Following the emphatic defeat of the Government`s Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons, Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, said:
“The result of the vote in the House of Commons was inevitable and entirely predictable. The Prime Minister and the team around her have been trying to resurrect their doomed withdrawal agreement for weeks. They weren`t listening despite the will of Parliament, in opposition to this agreement, being clear for weeks. Attempts to manipulate this vote to be a decision between a bad deal and no deal were desperate in the extreme and have clearly backfired resulting in an emphatic defeat for the Government.
“Instead of more prevarication and reckless negotiating tactics, the UK Government needs to recalibrate its negotiating position, grab this process by the scruff of the neck and seek an extension to Article 50. Then get the EU back to the negotiating table. The debate has clearly shown that there is no desire amongst the majority of MPs for a no deal Brexit.
“The EU's claims that they want to defend the Belfast Agreement must now be backed up by actions that reflect their responsibility. The backstop needs dealt with and they know it. If they continue with their present intransigence, everyone will end up in a place where no-one wants to go.
“We want the right deal for the country, a sensible deal and a deal which creates a positive trading relationship with the EU in the future which doesn`t undermine the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom or the principle of consent which is at the heart of the Belfast Agreement.”