The DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr has issued a rallying cry in the House of Commons for there to be ‘no surrender’ to any sort of blackmail and bullying by the European Union’s negotiators when it comes to discussing Brexit.
Although some people have criticised his choice of words as being ‘insensitive’ (after all, ‘no surrender’ is an incredibly emotive phrase in Northern Ireland due to the imagery that it conjures up of The Troubles), we have to admire the simple message that he is trying to put across.
Take a look at what he had to say below:
“Does the minister agree with me that it’s about time the Government demonstrated a no surrender attitude to the EU bureaucrats, who try to blackmail us, bully us, over air flights, passenger duty and everything else?”
He added: “Stand up to them man, and stand up to the EU and let’s get on with leaving the EU.”
Thankfully, someone was on hand to leap to Theresa May’s defence with the same sort of predictable and cringeworthy soundbite that will inspire nobody with half an ounce of awareness.
Minister Shailesh Vara replied: “The Prime Minister will stand up to anyone and everyone when it comes to maintaining the best interests of the United Kingdom.”
Here’s the thing about Mr Vara’s reply – it’s bull. He knows it, Mrs May knows it …
On a number of occasions, Theresa May has proved to the world that she is heading up a government that is completely unprepared to not only negotiate Brexit, but also to stand up against the exact Brussels-led ‘bullying and blackmail’ that Ian Paisley Jr is referring to.
Criticise Paisley’s choice of words if you want, but the time for sugar-coating the situation is over – even Barnier himself has admitted that time is running out.
We should also point out that this soundbite is a superb counter argument for anyone who is screaming ‘blue murder’ about the current arrangement between the Conservatives and the DUP.
It is clear that at least in Paisley’s case, he has the interests of the United Kingdom at heart and not just Northern Ireland’s.
This brief speech also shows that within the arrangement, the DUP is prepared to hold its government ‘partners’ to account – exactly the sort of thing that Labour and Liberal Democrat critics said WOULDN’T happen under the parliamentary deal between the two parties.