We need to see a greater sense of urgency in meetings between the UK and EU – Swann
September 16, 2019
Ulster Unionist leader, Robin Swann MLA, has stated that there must be more intensive engagement between the UK and EU as the clock counts down to 31st October.
Mr Swann said:
“The noises coming out of the meeting between the Prime Minister and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker don`t give cause for optimism. The respective statements give the impression that the discussions between the UK and the EU are being run at the same pace as the talks to restore devolution at Stormont - and that`s not saying much. It is clear that a no-deal Brexit is not in anybody`s interests.
“There should be more genuine, intensive engagement underway about a replacement for the backstop as the clock counts down towards the 31st October, otherwise the inevitable outcome could be a repackaged backstop under another name which would rip apart the Belfast Agreement. It would loosen the bonds which tie the United Kingdom together and this is totally unacceptable to any unionist.
“Our government should be challenging the European Union at every opportunity to work meaningfully to come up with a solution which would avoid this disastrous situation. And the EU needs to decide which is more important to them – the retention of the Belfast Agreement or the backstop? The choice should be the Belfast Agreement every time.”