Diane Dodds MEP Non-attached Member of the European Parliament
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Time to tear down the artificial barriers and drop the ultimatums - Dodds

Responding to today's remarks by European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan on the state of play in Brexit border talks, DUP MEP Diane Dodds said:

''These latest comments by a senior Irish politician are unhelpful at a critical time in the Brexit talks. Lasting progress will only be achieved by cool heads working in close cooperation, not through a strategy of coercion. Sadly, the Commissioner's speech reinforces the view that the EU seeks to bully the UK in these negotiations.


References to "civil war" and "not a building left on the other side" are wholly unacceptable. Such use of language is careless at best and fails to reflect progress seen to date, particularly in relation to the Common Travel Area. 


Mr Hogan suggests that the UK must climb down from Brexit barricades yet in reality it is the EU that is creating barriers in discussions covering the border. The so-called June deadline for a deal referenced by the Commissioner has been cynically manufactured. It will be interesting to see whether Mr Barnier will be eager to repeat this narrow, rigid and unimaginative approach to the border when he visits Northern Ireland early next week.


It may be the case that the EU believes inciting division at Westminster will result in the whole of the UK remaining in lockstep with Brussels. However the more likely outcome could be no deal at all.


It is time to tear down the artificial barriers and drop the ultimatums. Only then can we start to work toward a sensible Brexit which works for all.’'



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