A letter to the EU Council President Donald Tusk to protect the backstop in any Brexit withdrawal Agreement, has been signed by more than half of our MLA’s.
The backstop would ensure that there would be no hard boarder between the North & South of the island.
But it would also mean that Northern Ireland would still remain partly aligned to the EU custom union rather than leave completely with the rest of the UK.
This type of clause in the withdrawal agreement has been opposed by several parties including the TUV, with it’s leader Jim Allister calling the backstop a ‘crippling threat’.
Following the signing of the letter by MLA’s to Mr Tusk, TUV leader Jim Allister has said:
“Today’s letter has exposed some who claim to be above the politics of Unionism and Nationalism in Northern Ireland as part of a pan-nationalist front, embracing the Sinn Fein ambition of moving the border to the Irish Sea.
“Make no mistake about it, the Backstop is an EU/nationalist ploy to break up the U.K. Once more the anti-Unionist Alliance Party is emerging in its true colours.
“Not only is the backstop bad for the Union it is bad for business as it will have a huge impact on the Northern Ireland economy, given our annual “imports” from Great Britain.
“ In 2016 for example the total purchases from Great Britain in goods was £10,989 million while the purchases of services from Great Britain was £2,432 million.
“By way of contrast, the total imports from the Republic of Ireland in goods was £1,995 million while the purchases of services from the Republic was £293 million.
“In fact, the total purchases in goods from Great Britain (£10,989 million) dwarfed the total purchases in goods from the Republic and the rest of the EU combined (£3,959 million).
“The silence from the parties behind this letter on this crippling threat is most telling.”