The SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood;
Proroguing your parliament to enforce the will of a government that has no democratic legitimacy for an act that has no majority support is the behaviour of a tin-pot dictator. Boris Johnson has stepped far outside the acceptable norms for a functioning democracy and he must be reined in.
“This is a moment for political courage. Every MP should take a stand in this moment, to defend the interests of people across these islands but particularly in the North where businesses and border communities will suffer the most as a result of a no-deal coup.
“There is now a compelling democratic imperative to stop Johnson and stop this Brexit. DUP MPs who have nodded along with this and Sinn Féin MPs who refuse to act are facilitating this disaster. It’s time for leadership.”
The Alliance Party Leader, Naomi Long;
We have been told Brexit was about taking back control. However, with this move, parliamentary democracy is being undermined and sacrificed on the altar of Brexit, which puts us in extremely dangerous territory.
“It is the desperate act of a Prime Minister who knows Parliament opposes a no deal but who will attempt to push it through regardless. He has no mandate for this and has ploughed on ahead, despite knowing the consequences of Brexit in general and no deal in particular. Efforts must continue to prevent that scenario.
“In addition, it is utterly appalling the DUP are giving cover to this Parliamentary coup, when they know full well through the leaking of Operation Yellowhammer, the severe effects a reckless no deal will have on Northern Ireland, a Northern Ireland they profess to seek to serve.”
The UUP Leader, Robin Swann said;
“The proroguing of Parliament is an abuse of process, risks undermining public confidence in Westminster and will unfortunately only create more division. If we want Parliament to pass an agreement with the EU before the 31st October, this isn`t the way to go about it.
“We need to see an end to the plotting from both sides in Westminster and that replaced by politicians focused on getting a deal so that the United Kingdom leaves the EU in an orderly fashion. Otherwise the people of Northern Ireland will be caught in the middle.
“The incendiary language being used by some politicians across these islands needs to cease. We should all work towards getting a consensus on a withdrawal agreement. If anything, it is the backstop which provides the greatest threat to the Belfast Agreement.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs