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Farry disappointed by lack of further progress during EU negotiations

Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said he is disappointed further progress has not been made on the proposed backstop during negotiations between the UK Government and the EU.

Dr Farry added he was further disappointed the Prime Minister refused a joint meeting request with the local Remain parties, including Alliance, over Brexit.

"It is disappointing further progress has not been made, particularly as the October meeting was originally set as the deadline for agreement," he said.

"It is clear the UK Government has not sufficiently advanced its own position, with apparent confusion over exactly what it is it wants.

"While the backstop is not Alliance's preferred way forward, we recognise final agreement on it is of critical importance. It is an insurance policy which will protect the Good Friday Agreement and ensure an open border remains on the island of Ireland. The UK Government already made a commitment for it 'until or unless' another solution is agreed. Anything less would be a reversal of that commitment.

"It is further disappointing the Prime Minister refused to meet with the Remain parties collectively. She claims to be acting on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland but is only listening to the DUP, who are presenting a distorted position, contrary to the Remain majority, who support the backstop.

"As the deadlock continues, it is far from clear if there is any way through the mess of Brexit. It is vital the people of the UK have a chance as a whole to reconsider the decision to leave the EU."