Alliance Party Deputy Leader and Brexit Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has criticised “shambolic” parliament for failing to outline a clear way forward on Brexit, after MPs supported the principle of extending Article 50, while at the same time failing to determine an alternative way forward to the Withdrawal Deal.
With just over two weeks to go, Dr Farry welcomed moves by some to push for a People’s Vote, adding the Labour Party had been exposed for playing political games on the issue.
He said: “It is shocking that Parliament cannot determine what course of action that it wishes to take on Brexit. It is very good at determining what it is against, but not what it is in for.
“It is simply not good enough for Parliament to say that it wants to see an extension of Article 50 without indicating what it is for or even determining a different process for working out a different way forward.
“The European Union will need to see clear evidence of a new approach if there is to be any such extension.
“I welcome that a People’s Vote has been tested in Parliament, and would congratulate Sarah Wollaston, the Independent Group and the Liberal Democrats plus others for standing up for democracy and the right of people to have their say in this radically different context to 2016.
“There may be other opportunities to test support in that regard, but equally another chance may never come. All MPs will be accountable for their votes if UK leaves EU against the will of the people. The abstainers may not get another chance, and the Labour Party have been exposed for playing political games through Jeremy Corbyn talking of his support for a second referendum at the end of the debate having passed the opportunity to vote for it.
“For Alliance, the Withdrawal Agreement including the backstop remains the bottom line, and the backstop does need to be banked especially in light of the uncertainty of alternative options.”