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Ian Paisley Jr: 'We're leaving the EU and Ireland would be better off leaving with us'

“The focus now is on negotiations that will get us all a good Brexit,” the DUP MP said.

Ian Paisley Jr wants the Irish government to stop interfering in Brexit talks.
Ian Paisley Jr wants the Irish government to stop interfering in Brexit talks.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

DUP MP IAN Paisley Jr has said that Northern Ireland shouldn’t remain in the customs union or have a “special status” after Brexit.

He also said that, while he respected Ireland’s position, the country “would be better off” leaving the EU, adding that “we could do an awful lot more together”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Paisley Jr said that all of the UK would be leaving the customs’ union and single market but that didn’t mean that border posts would be necessary.

Paisley Jr also said that it was in Ireland’s interests for Britain to get a good deal because it’s such a close trade ally.

“Let’s get on with getting a good Brexit,” he said adding that the Irish government was spreading “doom and gloom” about the post-Brexit border with Northern Ireland.

We’re all leaving the EU. That has to be respected. Do we want special status? No. [They shouldn't] undermine our position.

In the Brexit referendum, a majority of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. The DUP, however, advocated a leave vote and is now propping up the Conservative government in Westminster.

In recent weeks, Leo Varadkar’s government has said that it is up to Britain to come up with border solutions and that the next round of Brexit talks should not take place until that solution is found.

In response, British politicians have been sharply critical of the Irish position. Last night, the BBC reported that the UK was planning to take a “carrot and stick approach” with the government here.

Speaking today, Paisley Jr accused the Irish government of wanting to put up customs posts between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He said: “It’d be silly. We hope that the common travel area will remain in place. We don’t want to destroy that, we want to encourage that.”

Paisley Jr added that trying to prevent a part of the UK leaving the EU would “reflect very badly” on the Irish government.

“The focus now is on negotiations that will get us all a good Brexit.”

Read: The Irish border remains a major sticking point in Brexit talks

Read: What happened when British people were asked to draw the Irish border

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