Willie Hay: DUP will reject any Brexit deal that treats the North differently from Great Britain

editorial image
Share this article

Willie Hay has warned the DUP will reject any deal that treats the North differently from Great Britain after unionists stalled a Brexit compromise between the European Commission and the United Kingdom on Monday.

The former Mayor, who now takes the title of Lord Hay of Ballyore, told fellow members of the House of Lords that Dublin had undermined Theresa May by continually briefing the media on the state of play of the negotiations at the weekend.

Speaking after the DUP baulked at leaks suggesting continued “regulatory alignment” between the North and South after Brexit to enable cross-border trade, he attacked the Dublin government, stating: “I make it clear that the finger should be pointed at Dublin. Dublin’s officials were continually briefing over the weekend, which did not help the situation on Monday when the Prime Minister arrived in Europe.

“The DUP’s position has been clear for a number of months, publicly and to the Government.

“We will reject any deal that would divide Northern Ireland from the rest the United Kingdom and which would see Northern Ireland being treated differently from the rest of the United Kingdom.

“That is the position with the Government, as with ourselves.”

Martin Callanan, the Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, who takes the title Lord Callanan, said: “We want to ensure that there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. ​

“We recognise that, as we exit, we must respect the integrity of the EU single market and the customs union, but we are equally clear that we must respect the integrity of the United Kingdom.”