Interviews conducted today by Government ministers and by the Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, revealed ongoing tensions around the Irish ‘backstop’.
Commenting, Lord Peter Hain, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“The clock is ticking ever louder as we count the days down to a March 29th Brexit deadline but Downing Street is still playing dangerous games of brinkmanship, with a real risk now that Parliament will be forced to agree a catastrophically bad deal that endangers not only our economy but also peace in Northern Ireland.
“It is frankly astonishing that any supposedly responsible UK Government, even in its desperation to secure a majority for Brexit, could countenance putting the Irish peace process at risk.
“As Ireland’s foreign minister today and EU leaders have made clear over the past week, there can be no Withdrawal Agreement without the insurance policy called ‘the backstop’ that has been agreed. Otherwise the Government will betray the memory of all those who lost their lives in the Troubles.
“Parliament must now have the time and space needed to work through every Brexit proposal without the blackmail threat of no deal hanging over MPs’ heads. Otherwise there is a real risk that Parliament will be forced to agree a really bad deal that endangers not only our economy but also peace in Northern Ireland.
“That’s why the People’s Vote campaign is throwing its support behind four ‘take back control amendments’ on Tuesday.”