17/06/2021

EU And UK Must Accept NI Protocol 'Has Not Worked'

DUP Leader Edwin Poots has said that the EU and UK must accept that the Northern Ireland Protocol "has not worked".

Mr Poots held a virtual meeting with EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic on Wednesday afternoon.

Speaking afterwards Mr Poots said: "The Northern Ireland Protocol is a clear violation of the Articles of Union and has damaged the political, economic and cultural stability within Northern Ireland. This could have been avoided.

"It is often cited by supporters of the Protocol that it was necessary to protect the 1998 Belfast Agreement. However, the Protocol breaches that Agreement. Neither the UK Government, Irish Government, or the EU have upheld the principle of consent or ensured parity of esteem throughout this process. As a result, the unionist community in Northern Ireland has been completely ignored and tensions between communities have risen in recent months.

"Northern Ireland is subject to rules without any say in the making of those rules. Aside from the lack of involvement given to the unionist community in the creation and implementation of the Protocol, everyone will suffer due to the detrimental impact of the Protocol and the way it has effectively separated us from our largest market in GB.
News Image
"The Government has further cemented the democratic deficit created by the Protocol, by imposing a consent mechanism which only permits a vote on whether to retain or disapply every four years.

"The only way to address this is for the EU and the UK to admit and accept that the Protocol has not worked and that alternatives must be examined which respect all borders and markets to protect the political stability of NI.

"The EU clearly do not recognise that trade between GB and NI poses no or an extremely low risk to the EU single market, therefore the Protocol is not proportionate to the potential risks and must be replaced.

"Disruption to medicine flows to NI may be experienced once the current twelve-month grace period has ended. After this, medicines moving from GB to NI will be handled as though they are moving into a third country. This is detrimental to the health of Northern Irish citizens and denies them the same fundamental and basic rights to healthcare treatment that other citizens of the United Kingdom receive.

"It is our considered opinion that the prescribed threshold of 'serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade' has not only been met, but exceeded."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 July 2021
Over One Million People In NI Now Fully Vaccinated
More than one million people, some 70% of the adult population, across Northern Ireland have now received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and are now fully vaccinated.
27 July 2021
Flooding Causes Disruption On NI Roads
Motorists travelling on roads across Northern Ireland have been urged to be cautious as flooding causes disruption across the region. Last week's scorching weather has made way for thunderstorms and heavy showers, with hefty storms and flooding expected particularly throughout south-east Down.
26 July 2021
Minister Hopeful Of Some Olympic Golds For NI
The Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has wished local athletes taking part in the Tokyo Olympics every success as the games get underway. The Minister said: "To be an Olympian and represent your country at the Olympic Games is an amazing sporting achievement.
23 July 2021
Convicted NI Sex Offender Unlawfully At Large In England
The search is continuing for a convicted sex offender who is unlawfully at large in England. NI man James Taggart is described as 5'7", slim build (around 63.5 kg), short light brown hair with receding hairline, short brown full beard, blue eyes and speaks with a Fermanagh accent.
23 July 2021
FM&DFM Send Their Best Wishes To NI Athletes At Tokyo Olympic Games
The First and Deputy First Ministers have sent their best wishes to all Northern Irish athletes competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. First Minister Paul Givan said: "The Olympics is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and it is wonderful to have so many athletes from Northern Ireland competing at this level.