Foster – “Brussels must not abuse Northern Ireland as a bargaining chip”
DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA will meet with our Prime Minister in Downing Street today. DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds MP will also attend the meeting.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Mrs Foster said,
“We want to speak with the Prime Minister about the restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland and also about securing the best deal for the whole of the United Kingdom as we exit the European Union.”
On the Northern Ireland Assembly Mrs Foster said,
“I want to see local Ministers making decisions about Northern Ireland but we cannot continue without a Ministerial-led government. The Secretary of State was right to legislate for our budget in London. Further steps now look inevitable unless there is a change of direction.
We continue to work with Her Majesty’s Government, Sinn Fein and the other Northern Ireland parties towards restoring a local Executive. The DUP has no red lines and would have formed the Executive many months ago. The people I represent are frustrated that Sinn Fein is blocking devolution. Bread and butter decisions are being disrupted. Health, education and infrastructure spending is being hampered because SF is focused on a narrow political agenda.”
On the EU exit negotiations Mrs Foster said,
“The people of Northern Ireland delivered peace and stability. Yes, they were supported beyond these shores but to suggest that exiting the EU will bring violence onto our streets is downright careless.
Northern Ireland will exit the EU on the same terms as the rest of the United Kingdom. We will not countenance a border in the Irish Sea. I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment on this point. The GB market is not only critical for Northern Ireland but for the Republic of Ireland. We want to see a sensible arrangement that can work for all concerned. The democratic wishes of the British people must be implemented.
Those in Dublin and Brussels, wrecklessly trying to use Northern Ireland for their own objectives, should cease. The Prime Minister should warn Brussels that Northern Ireland must not be used as blackmail.”