Ulster Unionist Chief Whip Steve Aiken MLA has said that the Brexit deadlock surrounding the backstop proposals, has exposed the DUP’s inability to appreciate the inherent dangers, and lack of influence on Government thinking when it really mattered.
Steve Aiken MLA said:
“Last night’s deadlock at Westminster demonstrated with rare clarity just what a shocking mess the entire Brexit process has become. Faced with eight different options – including withdrawing Article 50; no deal; a second referendum and remaining within a customs union with the EU - MPs failed to find a majority for any one of them.
“Nigel Dodds stated that the DUP does not abstain on the Union, but they certainly abstained last night. It is perfectly clear now that the DUP badly misjudged the obvious dangers in December 2017 when the Government negotiators signed up to the disastrous backstop arrangement, and vastly over-stated their influence over Government policy.
“At the DUP Spring Conference in Omagh last month, Nigel Dodds stated that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal.’ As he watches the support of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg melt away and sees those gentlemen prepare to back Mrs May’s deal – including the backstop – he must be wondering just how it came to this.
“The DUP for the last few years has boasted about its ‘influence’ and control of government. Unfortunately, it has demonstrated that its ability to help govern at the national level matches that of its incompetence, ignorance and mendacity at Stormont. Far from being ‘strong’ on the union they have done more damage to it than virtually anyone - it is way beyond time for change.”