Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has challenged Arlene Foster to make clear her position on Brexit means a UK-wide soft Brexit based around the Customs Union and Single Market.
It follows the DUP leader’s comments about Northern Ireland being treated the same as the rest of the UK in any Brexit deal being the “only redline” for the DUP in Brexit negotiations.
“If the DUP leader is now claiming this is her only redline, the logical course of action is for the DUP to become some of the strongest advocates for a soft Brexit, and more specifically for the entire UK to be within a Customs Union with the EU and to remain within the Single Market,” said Dr Farry.
“By contrast, it is in the context where the UK is determined to go for a hard Brexit and to be outside a Customs Union and the Single Market that special arrangements need to be devised for Northern Ireland to take into account the particular and complex nature of our society, to protect the Good Friday Agreement and to empower our economy.
“If everyone shares the objective of avoiding a new border in Ireland, then the essential choice is between a genuine and serious UK-wide solution or special arrangements for Northern Ireland. All other mooted alternatives the Government is distracting itself with are either unworkable or untested or incompatible with the realities of the EU.
“There is a challenge and opportunity for the leader of the DUP to now make clear what is the only logical way forward to enable political stability and to protect the economy. The DUP can make clear they will vote for the relevant Lords amendments to the Withdrawal Bill when it returns to the House of Commons shortly.”