We don’t abstain on the Union: DUP will not back Theresa May’s Brexit deal

Nigel Dodds
Nigel Dodds "We don't abstain on the Union"

Nigel Dodds “We don’t abstain on the Union” But does that mean they will vote against it?

The DUP has confirmed it will not support the Prime Minister if she tables another meaningful vote on her withdrawal agreement in parliament and crucially, it will not be abstaining as has been mooted.

Focus has been on the DUP and how it will move after Theresa May pledged to stand down as Prime Minister if her deal gets the support needed to pass in the Commons. A number of Brexiteers have announced they will back the Prime Minister in the wake of her vow.

Prominent Brexiteer and chair of the influential ERG group of Conservatives Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would be guided on how the DUP acted. He said if the party abstained the deal could get the support required.

However, Nigel Dodds tweeted: “The DUP do not abstain on the union”.

In a statement on Wednesday evening the DUP said good discussions had taken place with the government with progress made on domestic legislation.

“All concerned recognise the need to ensure that as we leave the European Union the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom is maintained.

“However, given the fact that the necessary changes we seek to the backstop have not been secured between the Government and the European Union, and the remaining and ongoing strategic risk that Northern Ireland would be trapped in backstop arrangements at the end of the implementation period, we will not be supporting the Government if they table a fresh meaningful vote.”

The necessary changes we seek to the backstop have not been secured.

The statement continued: “The backstop if operational has the potential to create an internal trade border within the United Kingdom and would cut us off from our main internal market, being Great Britain.

“We want to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from, and our future relationship with, the European Union on terms that accord with our key objectives to ensure the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“In our view the current withdrawal agreement does not do so and the backstop, which we warned this Government against from its first inception, poses an unacceptable threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom and will inevitably limit the United Kingdom’s ability to negotiate on the type of future relationship with the EU.”


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