Supporting PM 'in the national interest' says Dodds ahead of no confidence vote

The North Belfast MP says the backstop had been "fatal" to the proposed Withdrawal Agreement. Credit: House of Commons

The DUP "will support the Government" on a motion of no confidence following the Prime Minister's Brexit deal defeat.

The party's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds also warned that the verdict was "emphatic" and "requires lessons to be learned" if Theresa May is to secure changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

Speaking during a Commons debate on the motion of no confidence in theGovernment, Mr Dodds said "it really was the Prime Minister's proposition"that was defeated by a "record majority".

The MP for Belfast North said the DUP's view had been entirely consistent that it wanted an agreement to achieve an orderly Brexit.

He added that the backstop had been "fatal" to the proposed Withdrawal Agreement and "that needs to be dealt with".

On Brexit, he said the DUP agreed to support the Government where it "acted on the basis of our shared priorities".

The DUP he said "have delivered on our side of that agreement", adding that on the issue of the Brexit backstop "we have of course a big difference with the Prime Minister and so do the majority of course of the Conservatives in this House, Conservative members who are not on the Government payroll".

Mr Dodds said it was in the national interest to support the Government, butwarned "much work remains to be done".

He said: "We believe it's in the national interest to support the Governmentat this time so the aims and objectives of the confidence and supply agreement we entered into can be achieved. Much work remains to be done on those matters.

"The timing of this motion, as we well know, has got much more to do with the internal dynamics of the Labour Party than a genuine presentation of analternative programme for Government.

"So we will support the Government tonight, this evening on this motion sothat the Prime Minister has more time and has the space to focus now on acting in the national interest on Brexit.

"And it's important that the Prime Minister now does listen and does deliver a Brexit that ensures that the whole of the UK leaves the EU together."