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 Full text 
Wednesday, 9 October 2019 - Brussels Revised edition

Preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019 (debate)

  Diane Dodds (NI). – Madam President, on 31 October, the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. We must leave as one nation. This means that Northern Ireland will leave the single market and the Customs Union with the rest of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Johnson’s blueprint means that the consent of the elected representatives of Northern Ireland is rightly required to opt into some of the rules, which would make trading with our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland easier for businesses and farmers: a sensible, pragmatic way forward, honouring the UK’s referendum result.

This has been met with complete negativity by EU leaders. It appears that no proposal other than tying Northern Ireland to the EU’s single market and Customs Union is acceptable to this House, the Irish Prime Minister or even the German Chancellor. So let’s be clear, again: Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom through the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. We will not be torn out of its internal market and Customs Union, and we are not the EU’s bargaining chip in this negotiation.

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