Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has stated that the letter written to Donald Tusk from some NI parties comes as no surprise, but unless there is a change in tack from the EU and the Irish Government, the backstop could deliver the hard border which they claim they want to prevent.
Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA said:
“This letter and its contents come as no surprise. However it doesn`t mean that they are correct. They give no recognition to Northern Ireland`s place within the United Kingdom and the fact that we conduct the vast majority of our trade with Great Britain. Rather than protecting the Belfast Agreement, the backstop represents a direct threat to it. It undermines the principle of consent and short circuits democracy.
“We can go on having these circular arguments every day, with the Irish Government and the EU sticking obstinately to the backstop, claiming to have the backing of Sinn Fein, Alliance and others, but it doesn`t fundamentally solve the problem. The current Withdrawal Agreement with the backstop isn`t going to get through Parliament.
"What it may have done is lessen the will of some in Westminster to hasten the return of devolution before the 31st of October.
“And if we don`t get an agreement, then the UK will be leaving the EU without a deal. Nobody will escape the fallout of that. Unless the EU and Irish Government change tack, then the backstop could deliver the hard border it was supposedly intended to prevent. The EU may be tempted to try and give the British Government a bloody nose, but the repercussions of that would last for years to come, especially in Northern Ireland. I urge them to rethink.”