Theresa May accused of allowing EU to use Irish backstop as a ‘negotiating ploy’

Theresa May accused of allowing EU to use Irish backstop as a ‘negotiating ploy’

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Prime Minister has rejected accusations that she allowed the European Union to use the issue of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as a “negotiating play”.

During Prime Minister’s Questions, DUP’s Gregory Campbell argued that a hard border in Ireland was a “physical and political impossibility”.

“This morning’s legal advice refers to the backstop as a “permanent arrangement” and will endure indefinitely,” the MP for East Londonderry said.

“Does the Prime Minister agree at this last moment that the entire premise of the backstop has been based on a false assertion?

“It is a practical, physical, political impossibility under any circumstances for a hard border to emerge on the island of Ireland.

“Why has she allowed that to be used as a negotiating ploy by the EU against the UK?”

 

'No hard border'

The Government was forced to publish its “full” legal advice on Theresa May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, after it lost a motion of contempt of Parliament on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister defended her Brexit deal saying the border was not a “negotiating ploy”.

“This is not a negotiating ploy by the European Union against the UK.  What it is, is our commitment as the UK Government to Northern Ireland,” she said.

“He says that the political assertion that there will be no hard border is sufficient to give reassurance for the future – I say no.

“What people want to know is that arrangements will be in place – it does not have to be the backstop or the future relationship will deal with this.

“But people need to know that it is beyond a political assertion and that there is that political commitment there to the people of Northern Ireland to make sure we have no hard border.”

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