After Jacob Rees-Mogg appears to be backing May’s deal, the DUP might be putting a spanner in the works.
His comments show a split between the DUP and ERG (European Research Group) who have been aligned throughout the Brexit process, with both sides opposing the controversial Irish border backstop.
Sammy Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesman, says he would be happy with a one-year delay. He wrote in the Telegraph: “We won’t let the PM or the Remainer horde in Parliament bully us into backing a toxic Brexit deal.”
Wilson continued: “There are some colleagues who I admire greatly and who have stood firmly with us in defending Northern Ireland who now take the view that the withdrawal agreement, even though it is a rotten deal, is better than losing Brexit. To them I say that, if the deal goes through, we have lost our right to leave the EU. If we sign up to it, we give away our right to leave to the whim and dictates of the EU. That is not Brexit.
“Even if we are forced into a one-year extension, we at least would have a say on the things which affect us during that time and would have the right to unilaterally decide to leave at the end of that one-year period through the simple decision of not applying for a further extension. Surely this is a better strategy than volunteering to be locked into the prison of the withdrawal deal with the cell door key in the pocket of Michel Barnier? Besides, the fact remains that Brexit can only be lost if the government decides to abandon pursuing negotiations to leave the EU.”