Ulster Unionist Leader Robin Swann MLA, led a party delegation to meet the Prime Minister at Stormont House on Tuesday evening. Accompanied by Steve Aiken OBE MLA and Doug Beattie MC MLA, Mr Swann told the Prime Minister that the Ulster Unionist Party cannot support the draft Withdrawal Agreement.
Robin Swann MLA said:
“We engaged with the Prime Minister because we don`t believe that her visit is a waste of time because now more than ever she needed to hear the concerns of people from across all the regions of the United Kingdom. We expressed our concerns and explained that we can`t support her Withdrawal Agreement because we believe it will undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom and will lead to long term uncertainty. Northern Ireland would be a place completely apart.
“That`s why we have appealed to the Prime Minister to put plans in place to extend Article 50 rather than risk the future of the Union for the sake of meeting a deadline.
“EU law will have primacy over UK law, the Joint Committee will oversee the implementation of EU rules and regulations and Northern Ireland will gradually diverge from the rest of the United Kingdom. We won`t see the immediate effects of that today or tomorrow, but we will be set on a trajectory of drift away from the rest of the UK, the single biggest market for Northern Ireland.
“We want a deal, but we just can`t support this deal and no deal is not an option. It`s time to look for alternatives.
“I also took the opportunity to raise the serious impact that the continued absence of devolution is having with over 160 ministerial decisions outstanding, including historical institutional abuse redress, due to the lack of an Assembly and Executive.”