Nigel Dodds casts doubt over whether the UK will leave EU on October 31st
Deputy DUP leader said it would be unwise for anyone to predict what’s going to happen next week never mind next month
Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the DUP, said the “shenanigans” in Westminster had made it less likely there would be a deal, but despite this “we still do need a deal with the EU to be negotiated.” File photograph: Eric Luke
The deputy leader of the DUP has cast doubt over whether the UK will leave the EU on October 31st.
Mr Dodds said it would be “very unwise” for “anyone to predict, never mind the end of October, what’s going to happen next week”.
The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has called on opposition parties to table a motion of no confidence in the British government and Boris Johnson.
“If the DUP has any sense of what is right, they will withdraw their support for Johnson as well,” he said.
Mr Dodds said that the court’s ruling was a “step into the political realm by judges,” but both he and the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, said the court’s judgement must be respected.
Mr Dodds added that the “shenanigans” in Westminster had made it less likely there would be a deal, but despite this “we still do need a deal with the EU to be negotiated.”
“There still needs to be a negotiation with Europe. Some of the language we are hearing out of Brussels about their intransigence is not very encouraging. I hope we can make progress,” he said.
Sinn Féin’s Northern leader, Michelle O’Neill said the judgement represented another “melt down moment” for the British government.
“Ireland cannot be collateral damage in this circus,” she said.
The Supreme Court’s decision, she said, “underscores the complete and utter disregard Boris Johnson has for the majority of the people of the North who voted to Remain.
“This represents more of the chaos, dysfunction and mess that we have come to expect from Westminster, the House of Chaos.”
People in Northern Ireland were “anxiously watching on” and waiting for a deal, and the backstop was the “bare minimum” needed to protect against “the catastrophe that is Brexit,” she said.
‘This has gone on too long’
Mr Eastwood said that Boris Johnson had been found “to have acted unlawfully,” and therefore “he cannot be in office a second longer.”
“A vote of no confidence will make way for a temporary administration at Westminster that can stop no deal, protect our economy and at last put the power back to the people in a general election. This has gone on too long,” the SDLP leader said.
“Opposition leaders need to take on the Tories and take out Boris Johnston. Ireland’s interests are on the line at Westminster, there is a fight to be had and this is no time to be standing on the sidelines.
“There’s no time to waste - respect the court, take a stand and send the Prime Minister packing.”
The Ulster Unionist peer, Lord Empey, said the British government’s handling of Parliament had been “dreadful” since Boris Johnson became prime minister.
“All this macho rhetoric is ridiculous,” he said.
“With a stunning and potentially ground-breaking ruling from the Supreme Court, it is clear that the Prime Minister is being very badly advised.
“Decisions have been made that even a very junior official could have seen were undeliverable,” he said.
“The Prime Minister needs to accept that he leads a minority government and controls neither House of Parliament. He must act accordingly and concentrate on getting a consensus for a workable proposal when we go back tomorrow, to put on the table in Brussels.
“He should commence a new approach by getting advisors into No 10 who know what they are doing and who themselves are not publicity seekers.
“Our country is bleeding good will and cohesion at an alarming rate,” Lord Empey said.
“Nowhere is this more obvious than in Northern Ireland. Boris must get a grip of this and broaden his base of support in Parliament and no longer be totally reliant on those with a very narrow agenda.”