Mark Francois: DUP has offered ‘a bit of an olive branch’

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Conservative MP Mark Francois has said an "olive branch" offered by the DUP could lead to a new vote on a “revised timetable” for debate on Brexit legislation.

It comes after MPs rejected an attempt to fast-track Brexit legislation through Parliament in a vote last night, saying that the proposed three days was not enough time for proper scrutiny.

Mr Francois, the deputy leader of the European Research Group, told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that it is “not impossible” that a new schedule could be agreed, if Downing Street meets with the DUP and gets their support.

He said the DUP’s deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, “appeared to offer the Prime Minister a bit of an olive branch” when he invited the government to “sit down and talk to us again” after the vote.

WATCH: Nigel Dodds wants to 'get Brexit done'

Mr Dodds said: “It is perfectly proper and right and the House has made a very wise decision to allow further time for detailed examination of some of the most important legislation that we will ever have to consider, particularly given the impact on Northern Ireland.

“And at this stage I would say to the Prime Minister, as he reflects on the votes on Saturday and he studies the votes tonight, that he would sit down and talk to us again about what can be done, even at this late stage, to ensure that we join in this great quest to get Brexit done, but as one United Kingdom.”

The DUP has been opposed to Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal, which effectively leaves Northern Ireland partially in the EU.

The party’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told talkRADIO the Prime Minister had “not honoured the pledges made to the party”.

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