Ulster Unionist leader, Robin Swann MLA, has stated that the leaked text of draft documentation on a potential deal for movement to the next stage of Brexit talks is wholly unacceptable and would fundamentally alter the relationship between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann MLA said:
“The people of the United Kingdom have been bombarded with speculation over a potential deal to move Brexit negotiations to the next stage. What we need now are clear facts.
“Today`s leaked draft text, if proven to be the final text, would present serious challenges to the economic, constitutional and political integrity of the United Kingdom. It would undermine the Belfast Agreement, breach the principle of consent and fundamentally alter the relationship between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. No amount of 'constructive ambiguity' would cover that up. The Belfast Agreement was not constructed in Brussels.
“Anything that weakens our regulatory regime or means that regulations applicable in Northern Ireland could be set in Dublin or Brussels without consultation, rather than being established in Belfast or Westminster, would be wholly unacceptable. We would be left voiceless and have no say on their design or implementation. It would also mean that if the UK Government is negotiating future trade deals across the world, we would be seen as a place apart. Northern Ireland`s constitutional position should not be used as a bargaining chip.
“Whilst we are concerned at initial reports, we will reserve judgement until we have seen the final draft at which point we will deliver a considered response.”