Diane Dodds mocked the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the for their proposals on the future relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The European Commission’s draft text for the UK’s withdrawal agreement sets out in legal terms plans for the establishment of a “common regulatory area” between the EU and Northern Ireland.

The plans envisage an area spanning the whole island of Ireland with no internal borders and free movement of goods.

But Ms Dodds rejected the plans and sarcastically thanked the EU for uniting all sides of the UK Parliament against the text.

She said: “This morning we’ve heard of the European Union’s desire for a closer partnership with the UK post Brexit yet there is no spirit of conciliation and compromise.

Brexit news - Diane Dodds and Michel Barnier

Brexit news: Diane Dodds sarcastically praised the EU for uniting the British Parliament

“Nowhere is this more evident than in the draft legal text on Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which this resolution supports. 

“It is a text that no British prime minister could agree to. It has achieved the seemingly impossible of uniting the British Parliament against it.”

The Northern Irish MEP called out Brussels for its “aggressive interference” in British domestic policy, claiming the EU’s proposals would be “disastrous” for Northern Ireland. 

She told colleagues in Strasbourg: “This is aggressive interference in the internal affairs of the United Kingdom.

“It would be disastrous for Northern Ireland economically, it violates the principle of consent – a core principle of the Belfast agreement – and it goes well beyond the Belfast agreement in its North-South proposals.”

The Brexit proposals achieved the seemingly impossible of uniting the British Parliament against it

Diane Dodds

said the British Government will continue to work closely with both the Irish Government and the European Commission to guarantee the “free flow of goods” between the whole United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union.

She said: “Now is the time for the EU negotiators to get on with the job of discussing that economic partnership for the future.

“I’m pleased that we’ll be able to discuss with the Irish Government and the Commission the practical details of delivering on the solution for the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland we continue to see that free flow of trade not just between Northern Ireland and Ireland but actually between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom as well.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster told the EU chief there must not be an internal border within the UK and that they must not accept anything that will undermine the integrity of the union including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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