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Unacceptable for Northern Ireland to be ruled by committee under Withdrawal Agreement

The Ulster Unionist Councillors Association met in Armagh on Saturday to discuss the Government’s draft Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

Following the meeting, Cllr Sam Nicholson, Chair of the Ulster Unionist Councillors’ Association, said:

“The Ulster Unionist Party wants the UK to get the best deal possible on leaving the EU, but the Withdrawal Agreement currently on the table isn’t it. The backstop effectively hands Northern Ireland over to be ruled by committee with a veto held by the EU.  

“The backstop should have been kicked into touch by the Government and the DUP last December when they had the chance. We’ll have no say and no representation, and indefinitely stuck in an EU purgatory while the rest of the UK diverges further away. We’ll be bound by EU rules and regulations unable to take advantage of future trade deals negotiated by the UK. Rather than offer the certainty which the business community, agri-sector and environmental groups need, we believe it will deliver long term uncertainty and instability.

“The Ulster Unionist Councillors’ Association discussed the Withdrawal Agreement at length with our Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA and Jim Nicholson MEP at our meeting on Saturday and they have the full support of the Ulster Unionist Councillors’ Association as they make clear our opposition to the agreement and ask the Government to go back to the negotiating table. We want a deal, and we want certainty but we won’t be signing up to an agreement which fundamentally undermines the status of the United Kingdom and all its constituent parts for the sake of getting any deal. There’s still time to get a better deal and our party would encourage the Prime Minister and her ministers to take it.”

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