Ulster Unionist Peer, Lord Empey, has called on Parliamentarians to rise above the political scrum and renew efforts to secure an orderly departure from the EU.
Lord Empey said:
“As we return to Westminster on Tuesday, one thing is abundantly clear - both Government and Parliament are failing the people of Northern Ireland.
“Instead of a shouting match between the Prime Minister and the Opposition parties, they should be making every effort to negotiate an alternative to the Backstop, so an agreement can pass through Parliament. Northern Ireland needs a viable agreement more than any other region of the United Kingdom, yet, with a few honourable exceptions, few politicians seem to be focused on achieving this.
“From the outset, the Government's negotiating stance has been wrong, and the EU has been allowed to run rings round our former negotiators, aided and abetted by Dublin. The Opposition has been no better - immediately after the referendum in 2016, Jeremy Corbyn called for the immediate triggering of Article 50 before any negotiating position had been established.
“The Prime Minister and his senior colleagues, who correctly say that the Backstop is undemocratic and a threat to the Belfast Agreement, actually voted for it earlier this year!
“The inconsistencies on all sides in Parliament are numerous and dangerous. I call upon all Parliamentarians next week, to rise above the political scrum that is forecast and renew efforts to get a deal so we can depart the EU in an orderly way.
“The current chaos only encourages and benefits opponents of the Union, both in Northern Ireland and Scotland.”