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Prime Minister still has to address contradictions in UK position, says Farry

Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said the Prime Minister has "opened the door" to an extension of Article 50, after she promised MPs a vote on delaying the UK leaving the EU.

Theresa May told the House of Commons if her Withdrawal Agreement is rejected, MPs will be offered a vote on whether they support no deal and if that fails, one requesting an extension to Article 50 for two years.

"The Prime Minister has opened the door to an extension of Article 50 and avoiding a no deal cliff-edge at the end of March. A no deal outcome would be a disaster for the UK, and a complete catastrophe for the UK. But unless any possible extension is used to reassess and change the UK's farcical negotiating stance, the inevitable pain will only be deferred," said Dr Farry.

"The Prime Minister continues to indulge delusions and contradictions, and has created unrealistic expectations the backstop can or indeed should be changed in any substantial way, including the creation of a time-limit or unilateral exit mechanism.

"The only alternatives remain this Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, no deal, or a People's Vote. Alliance has been a long-standing advocate of a People's Vote, and believe it is the most coherent and democratic means to address Brexit. We welcome the belated, apparent commitment of the Labour leadership to supporting this. Furthermore, it is important this is tested in the House of Commons as soon as possible.

"By contrast, a no deal situation must be taken off the table. The UK needs to avoid no deal much more than the EU. Keeping a no deal outcome on the table is not a viable threat. In doing so, the DUP are betraying the interests of the Northern Ireland economy, fuelling massive uncertainty and causing real economic damage every day this goes on."