Diane Dodds MEP Non-attached Member of the European Parliament
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EU should work with UK instead of engaging in high-wire tactics: Dodds


Responding to today's statement on the Northern Ireland border by the European Council President Donald Tusk, DUP MEP Diane Dodds commented:


‘‘Once again the European Council President Donald Tusk has resorted to bully-boy tactics. He may wish to wash his hands of the border issue but the reality is that the EU has joint responsibility alongside the UK Government to find pragmatic solutions to what are mutual challenges. It is high time Brussels established a practical, hands-on approach to these matters which to date has been glaringly absent.


Although progress has been made on the terms of the Brexit implementation period, the DUP has made it clear that we have not passed the point of no return for a no deal scenario. The aggressive stance taken by Mr Tusk may grab headlines but it is not in the interests of a workable accommodation, nor does it reflect the economic interests of the Republic of Ireland. 


An estimated two-thirds of Irish exports reach the continent via the UK land-bridge and 39% of Irish freight containers transit through Northern Ireland alone. Therefore it comes as no surprise that future access to the Great Britain market has been the focus of comments by several Irish MEPs in recent days. Sadly while the penny starts to drop in Dublin the EU seems content to stick with high-wire tactics. 


The DUP will not compromise Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. There will be no internal barriers within the UK internal market post-Brexit as proposed by Mr Barnier. The EU must move away from the notion of special treatment to smart solutions. An ambitious free trade deal and new customs partnership can remove the vast majority of friction at every land, sea and air border crossing between the UK and the EU. This must now be our focus but it requires both sides putting their shoulders to the wheel, not just one.’’


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