DUP rejects Theresa May's 'fairly meaningless' proposal to give North 'veto' if Brexit backstop triggered

DUP rejects Theresa May's 'fairly meaningless' proposal to give North 'veto' if Brexit backstop triggered
A leave supporter is spoken to by a police officer as he argues with a remain supporter outside Parliament in London today.

The Democratic Unionist Party has rejected the UK Government’s latest attempt to win its support for the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

British MPs have resumed their debate on the deal after British Prime Minister Theresa May dramatically called off a parliamentary vote on it last month.

At the outset of the debate, Mrs May’s deputy David Lidington announced a series of assurances on Northern Ireland aimed at winning the support of more MPs for the deal.

The pledges are due to be included in a written statement that will be published this afternoon.

One of them appears to offer the Stormont assembly a veto on any new areas of law under the backstop.

This morning, however, DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said the proposals were “fairly meaningless” and will not win his party’s support.

The party continues to prop up Mrs May’s minority government under a confidence and supply agreement.

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson.
DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson.

"We are concerned that this falls far short of what we agreed last December, which was a veto for Stormont on the backstop," said Mr Wilson.

"This says we would be consulted if it were to be introduced, and that if it were to be introduced we would have the ability to stop any new EU regulations.

"These would be outside the scope of the 300 areas of law set out in the withdrawal agreement and of course it's possible that existing EU laws could be extended to new industries which could not be vetoed.

"This is fairly meaningless. We have had detailed discussions with the government and they know this doesn't go near to meeting the requirements."

He confirmed that the DUP plans to vote against the deal next Tuesday – and said he hoped Mrs May would return to Brussels to carry out more negotiations if the deal is rejected.

The EU has already warned that the agreement, which has been accepted by 28 EU Governments including the UK, cannot be renegotiated.

The Irish Government, the EU and the majority of Northern Ireland’s political parties have rejected calls for a veto on the backstop.

More on this topic

UK’s Brexit proposals over backstop kept secret amid leak fearsUK’s Brexit proposals over backstop kept secret amid leak fears

Jo Swinson: Being a woman will not stop me from toppling Boris JohnsonJo Swinson: Being a woman will not stop me from toppling Boris Johnson

McLaren boss warns of 'very, very serious' short-term impact of no-deal BrexitMcLaren boss warns of 'very, very serious' short-term impact of no-deal Brexit

Varadkar: 'Some jobs and some companies won't be saved' in no-deal BrexitVaradkar: 'Some jobs and some companies won't be saved' in no-deal Brexit