Listen to NI Business not DUP on catastrophe of no deal, says Farry

Speaking ahead of a crucial week in Parliament around Brexit, Alliance Party Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MLA has stressed the need for a positive decision aimed at bringing certainty and stability – ideally through a People’s Vote – adding a no deal situation would be a catastrophe for Northern Ireland.

Acknowledging the renewed warnings of the local business community against a no deal Brexit, Dr Farry has heavily criticised the DUP for adopting a reckless approach in not being prepared to rule out a no deal.

Stephen Farry said: “This is a crucial week ahead in the Brexit process. Ideally, Parliament would vote to put the Withdrawal Agreement back to the people of the UK in a referendum, with Remain on the ballot paper, and at the very least it should be voting to bank the backstop in order to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Ruling out a no deal doesn’t sort out the issue of what it is the UK actually wants, but if no agreement can be found, then Parliament has no choice but to ask for an extension of Article 50.

“A no deal outcome would be a disaster for the UK and an absolute catastrophe for Northern Ireland.

“In an almost unprecedented consensus, the business community, along with the Ulster Farmers Union and civic society have warned against the serious implications of a no deal. This includes most recently the joint letter from 50 local businesses organised by the CBI in Northern Ireland.

“Yet it is shocking, but sadly not surprising, that the DUP is still prepared to entertain a no deal Brexit. This is the implication of the insistence of DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds in his joint article in the Sunday Telegraph that rules out the Withdrawal Agreement and insists on Brexit on March 29. This ideological obsession with Brexit is completely at odds with our future economic prospects and the cohesion of Northern Ireland.

“The DUP are adopting a deeply irresponsible and reckless approach.”

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