Reacting to the announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government is seeking to defer the meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA said:
“The Government has driven itself into a cul de sac. The backstop is an insurance policy which Northern Ireland doesn`t need.
“Northern Ireland’s position within the UK should not be the compromise sought for the sake of delivering a deal. The Prime Minister should stand up and be uncompromising in her role as a defender of the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.
“The Prime Minister`s problems are of her own making. She made clear in February that ‘The draft legal text the Commission have published would, if implemented, undermine the UK common market and threaten the constitutional integrity of the UK by creating a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea, and no UK Prime Minster could ever agree to it. I will be making it crystal clear to President Juncker and others that we will never do so.”
“The Withdrawal Agreement as drafted did not live up to her own expectations and commitments.
“If the Prime Minister`s intention is to go to Brussels to seek ‘assurances’ rather than address the fundamental problem that the backstop is a betrayal of the integrity of the United Kingdom she will only be kicking the can down the road and will end up back in the same place again within days. Assurances alone won`t wash. We need fundamental change in legally binding text.”