Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has described proposals from the Government for a so-called backstop veto as ‘toothless’, given that there will be no change to the legally binding text of the Withdrawal Agreement.
He also questioned whether this means the Government finally recognises the ‘democratic deficit’ at the heart of the backstop.
Jim Nicholson MEP said:
“These proposals fall well short of what is necessary - which is change to the legally binding text of the Withdrawal Agreement. Up against a legally binding international treaty, this so-called ‘veto’ is merely window dressing and frankly toothless.
“There is a democratic deficit at the heart of the backstop and this document fails to address it. It would see key decisions on Northern Ireland’s future made not by locally elected representatives at Stormont, nor by our own Government at Westminster but by 27 other Governments including Dublin.
“If the Government does indeed now accept the fact that the backstop will have serious constitutional and democratic implications for Northern Ireland, why is it not pursuing the changes to the legally binding text necessary to garner support for the deal across the United Kingdom?”