DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA:
The DUP parliamentary group met this morning and discussed the ‘Malthouse’ alternative proposals for the draft withdrawal agreement.
The DUP has given its endorsement to the plan. We believe it can unify a number of strands in the Brexit debate including the views of remainers and leavers. It also gives a feasible alternative to the backstop proposed by the European Union which would split the United Kingdom or keep the entire United Kingdom in the Customs Union and Single Market. Importantly, this proposal would also offer a route towards negotiating a future trade relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
If the Prime Minister is seeking to find a united front, both between elements in her own party and the DUP, in the negotiations which she will enter with the European Union, then this is a proposition which she should not turn her back on.
There is no better time to advance this alternative given the confusion and disarray which is now manifesting itself in Brussels. This has been displayed both by the contradictory EU statements and the panic stricken behaviour of the Irish government.
Meanwhile, Boris has tweeted that he will “gladly” support the Brady amendment “if the Prime Minister indicates in the debate that she will be pressing Brussels to reopen the WA to make changes to the backstop”, with Steve Baker’s support. The DUP look to be singing from the same hymn sheet…