Baroness Hoey criticised after comparing MLAs wanting Stormont return to Nazi collaborators

Baroness Kate Hoey has been criticised for comparing MLAs wanting to return to Stormont under the new post-Brexit deal to Nazi collaborators.

The former Labour MP made the comments during a debate about the Windsor Framework in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

Baroness Hoey argued politicians returning to Northern Ireland's power-sharing institutions under the revised trading pact would be like Nazi collaborators under the Vichy regime in wartime France.

She said: “There are people in Northern Ireland, leading politicians, who say, and it’s true, that Northern Ireland has now become a form of colony. The EU’s first kind of colony.

“If Stormont goes back with the present Windsor Framework, they in fact would be almost like what happened during the war with the Vichy government, where all those MLAs would be collaborators with a kind of colonial government.

“Taking foreign laws from a foreign legislature, governing much of our economy in NI and keeping us in a foreign customs code whereby GB, Great Britain, our country, where our capital is, becomes a third country, becomes our foreign country, it’s just not acceptable."

The remarks have drawn criticism from Alliance Party Leader Naomi Long, who tweeted: "Aside from odious Nazi comparisons, Hoey lacks any self-awareness."

In further tweets, Ms Long wrote: "I'm done with the language of treachery. It's unjustified and inflammatory.

"It also offends people like me, whose uncles fought in WWII - including with the French Resistance.

"It's extremist language and should never be lightly deployed."

Meanwhile UUP Leader Doug Beattie said it was "appalling language".

In a tweet he continued: "The UUP believe to secure the union, maximise business opportunity, challenge [the Windsor Framework], support all our ppl we need devolved govt.

"To link that to Nazi regime is pathetic. I ask all unionist leaders, political & civic, to distance themselves from these words."

The debate saw an attempt by the DUP to block the Stormont brake - part of the revised post-Brexit trading arrangements - heavily defeated.

Peers rejected the motion by 227 votes to 14, a majority of 213.

It comes after the statutory instrument passed comfortably in the House of Commons last week despite DUP opposition and a Tory backbench rebellion that included former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, with Labour and other opposition parties backing it.

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