Forget Brexit unicorns - Boris Johnson can't even deliver a donkey, says Alliance Party leader

PUBLISHED: 14:35 14 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:01 14 September 2019

Alliance Party of NI leader Naomi Long MEP speaks at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Alliance Party of NI leader Naomi Long MEP speaks at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Boris Johnson can't even deliver a donkey let alone a Brexit unicorn, the Alliance Party's leader has claimed.

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Green Party in Northern Ireland leader Clare Bailey speaks at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Green Party in Northern Ireland leader Clare Bailey speaks at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

Naomi Long was one of the speakers at the latest People's Vote rally taking place in Belfast.

Se was speaking alongside Dominic Grieve QC MP, the SDLP's Claire Hanna, Green Party NI leader Clare Bailey and TNE's Alastair Campbell.

Long told the huge crowd that gathered in Belfast's Ulster Hall that the Good Friday Agreement is under threat from Brexit.

"We all know in Northern Ireland that while Brexit is challenging for everyone, for the EU, it is an existential challenge here in Northern Ireland and a no-deal would be catastrophic," she said.

Claire Hanna of the SDLP speaks at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Claire Hanna of the SDLP speaks at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

"We have to avoid that at all costs. Brexit was never a good idea.

"At a time when the main challenges that face us are global challenges, whether it's climate, security, peace, tax transparency, our lives are more connected than ever before.

"It makes no sense to withdraw from a large international influential block."

She added: "People were promised a unicorn Brexit that doesn't exist, a fantasy Brexit that we could trade with everyone without tariffs while protecting all our jobs and skills and making so much money.

(left to right) Dominic Grieve, Naomi Long, Claire Hanna, Clare Bailey and Petra Wolsey listen at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.(left to right) Dominic Grieve, Naomi Long, Claire Hanna, Clare Bailey and Petra Wolsey listen at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

"At the same time we were told we would continue to trade normally with the European Union.

"That Brexit does not exist. This prime minister can't even deliver a donkey of a deal.

"Let's get the facts out there that we will be worse off as a nation."

Former Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve said that Boris Johnson does not understand the difference between truth and falsehood.

Alastair Campbell speaks at a People's Vote rally. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Alastair Campbell speaks at a People's Vote rally. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

He added: "We are not leaving on October 31. The House of Commons, I am pretty certain, has made it quite clear that will not happen and if he continues to follow a fantasy he will find he will be out of office.

"There is an opportunity to go back.

"It's not to disregard the result of June 2016, but to point out politely that it has no resemblance to the paradise-like conditions the leavers predicted for us.

"There is nothing undemocratic for us to go back and confirm their views. What are the leavers frightened of?

Dominic Grieve speaks at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Dominic Grieve speaks at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

"Together we will prevail in this matter and get the outcome we seek."

Green Party NI leader Clare Bailey said that Northern Ireland stands to lose the most in Brexit.

She added: "I view the referendum as a bad call and an in-house fight. It was never intended to be in the interest of the people.

"I don't see it as the will of the people. We have 52% of people who voted to leave based on a campaign found to have broken electoral law and told lies and misinformed people.

Alastair Campbell, mimics Boris Johnson when he met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as he speaks at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Alastair Campbell, mimics Boris Johnson when he met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as he speaks at a People's Vote rally at Ulster Hall in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

"I don't see that as democratic."

The SDLP's Claire Hanna said: "The message we have to send from here is we want our stability and future back.

"This is about protecting the welfare of everyone here, including those who voted to leave.

"We need to say to those who voted to leave that we understand your concerns.

Dominic Grieve speaks at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Dominic Grieve speaks at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

"We can end austerity or we can end Brexit but we certainly cannot do both.

"The most plausible way out of this quagmire is a second vote."

Applause for Dominic Grieve's speech at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.Applause for Dominic Grieve's speech at a People's Vote rally in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA.

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