Prime Minister must stand up and defend the constitutional and economic integrity of the United King
The Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has called on the Prime Minister to deliver on her promise to remove the Backstop in order to protect the Belfast Agreement and the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.
Robin Swann MLA said:
“I welcome the fact that the Prime Minister has visited Northern Ireland, and I hear what she is saying, but in reality, there is nothing new.
“What we need to see now is this message being carried through in negotiations with the European Union.
“From a Unionist perspective, it is absolutely essential that the UK Government stands up to defend the 1998 Belfast Agreement, and in particular, the principle of consent enshrined therein.
“Since the Backstop was first mentioned in December 2017, the Ulster Unionist Party has consistently warned that it breached the Belfast Agreement.
“Put bluntly, that means that there can be no change to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland without the express consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland. It is a crucial part of the Belfast Agreement and the Backstop quite clearly breaches it.
“I welcome the fact that even the DUP now recognise that the Belfast Agreement secures Northern Ireland’s position within the United Kingdom. Anyone who understands the Belfast Agreement knows full well that the Backstop is incompatible with it and the Government needs to make this point loud and clear. Once that basic fact is recognised and accepted by Dublin and Brussels, then perhaps we can make real progress.
"The Withdrawal Agreement and the Backstop must be amended to respect the Belfast Agreement and to both recognise and defend the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.”