Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:22 pm on 28th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit) 6:22 pm, 28th October 2019

The Prime Minister has claimed that anyone who does not support his demand for an early election is, first, trying to stop Brexit and, secondly, running scared of the electorate. The Democratic Unionist party will not be supporting this motion tonight, but not because we are scared of the electorate. In fact, I can tell the House that the Unionist electorate in Northern Ireland are so angry at, so despairing of and so bewildered by the way in which the Prime Minister has broken his promises to the people of Northern Ireland that they would return 100 DUP MPs if they had the option.

We are not scared of a general election and we are not trying to stop Brexit. In fact, we have been pilloried in this House because we have been seen to be some of the most determined people to deliver Brexit. But the Brexit on offer is not a Brexit for the United Kingdom; it is a Brexit for part of the United Kingdom. It would leave Northern Ireland still within the single market and under the EU customs code. It would mean that any goods coming into Northern Ireland from GB would be subject to customs checks, customs declarations and tariffs. It would mean that we would have to sign export declarations when we sent goods to another part of our own country.

All these things would add costs and delays to the economy of Northern Ireland and would be a huge imposition on the thousands of small firms that currently trade freely with the rest of the United Kingdom. They would suddenly find themselves having to treat the country to which they belong as a third country when it comes to trade. Despite what the Prime Minister has said, the withdrawal agreement makes it quite clear that we could not take part in trade deals that our country does with other parts of the world if they went against the protocols in the agreement.