'The DUP are not for sale', former NI secretary warns

DUP Arlene Foster Nigel Dodds

The former NI secretary has said it was "foolishness" to believe the DUP would sacrifice their principles for money.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Theresa May was wrong to think she could buy-off the DUP, according to former Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward.

Despite receiving £1bn for Northern Ireland in return for a supply and confidence agreement with the government, the DUP voted against the Prime Minister’s deal today.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s John Nicolson, former minister Shaun Woodward said the DUP had acted exactly as expected.

Mr Woodward said: “The DUP have been exactly as you would have expected them to be and they’ve been very faithful to their community in Northern Ireland that they represent.

“I think it was the Prime Minister’s foolishness in imagining that she could slip them a big enough bung for them to sacrifice their principles.

“Whether you agree with them or not, the fact is they are very principled individuals and they are not for sale in the way the Prime Minister thought they would be.”

Mr Woodward said he believed the DUP’s actions were a consequence of Northern Ireland being “utterly betrayed” during the referendum campaign by “short-sighted” Brexiteers.

“The people of Northern Ireland were utterly betrayed into believing that somehow it was going to be possible for them to keep to the principles of the Good Friday Agreement, and not end up with some kind of border being reinstated either between Northern Ireland and the Republic or in the Irish Sea,” Mr Woodward said.

“It was just not true, it was a lie, it was utterly misleading and it was stupid at best and really wrong at worst for politicians to try and take the people of Northern Ireland for granted in the way that they did, and not surprisingly it has come back to bite them hard.”

 

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