The DUP’s chief whip in Westminster has labelled MPs who voted against or abstained from Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill “agents of the European Union”.
Sammy Wilson, a fervent Eurosceptic who supports the Brexit pressure group Leave Means Leave, said he failed to understand why MPs would choose to vote against the prime minister’s internal market bill.
The bill saw a number of Tory MPs abstain.
Speaking on talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer show, Wilson accused those MPs of being “more EU than British”.
“These agents of the European Union, whether they’re past prime ministers, or past attorney generals, or law officers, or half the crew we have here in the House of Commons, they seem to find no ability to point the finger at the failings of the EU.
“But, when the government takes upon itself legislation to defend the people of the United Kingdom and to defend the internal market of the United Kingdom, then they jump up and down. You know, I can’t understand this. It seems there are people in the House of Commons that are more EU than British.”
Wilson has also hit out at former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major for their Sunday Times article expressing concerns over Johnson’s bill on the Good Friday Agreement.
He dismissed the claim as “utter bunkum”.
Writing on the DUP’s website, Wilson said: “Tony Blair, John Major and many others with peace process leech tendencies, have re-emerged to claim the internal market bill would damage the Belfast Agreement. Such nonsense.
“The internal market bill is far from perfect and that’s why we will table amendments to the bill. The suggestion by the hero of the peace process brigade that the bill rips apart the Belfast Agreement is complete and utter bunkum without any factual basis.”
He said Blair and Major needed to “explain how making it easier for Northern Ireland to do business with our biggest market undermines the Belfast Agreement. They need to explain how Northern Ireland companies having less paperwork undermines the Belfast Agreement.”
His Labour shadow, Lord Falconer, said: “A future where (the) UK breaks its international law obligations, and opts out of Human Rights protections is a very bad future.”