Speaking during Northern Ireland questions in the House of Commons on 1 February 2017, Sammy asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to confirm that there would be no special EU status for Northern Ireland sought by the Government and that Northern Ireland would leave the EU on the same terms as the UK. He said;
“The government has quite rightly embarked on an exercise to identify the issues which affect different regions and different sectors of the economy and as much as possible build them in to the negotiating position that the government will take.
Will the Secretary of State give an assurance that whatever the issues in Northern Ireland including the border issue that Northern Ireland will leave the EU on the same basis as the rest of the UK. Will he assure us that there will be no special status, separate arrangements or different conditions which would mean that Northern Ireland’s position as a part of the UK would be changed”.
I welcome the assurance given by the Secretary of State but given that Sinn Fein now intend to make this an election issue and a condition for the setting up of the Assembly after the election I hope that those who voted to leave the EU and those who, while voting to remain, now want the certainty of this issue being resolved will use the election to thwart Sinn Fein’s anti Unionist and pro EU agenda.