22/09/2021

DUP Leader Writes To US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has written to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating that it is not possible to support both the Belfast Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Sir Jeffrey drafted the letter in response to Speaker Pelosi telling journalists, "If there is destruction of the Good Friday accords, they [are] very unlikely to have a UK-U.S. bilateral".

Along with the letter the DUP leader enclosed a copy of the Belfast Agreement.

In the letter, Mr Donaldson states: "In advance of the United Kingdom Prime Minister's visit to the United States you were quoted as saying "if there is destruction of the Good Friday accords ..." I attach a copy of said document and write to inform you that the Northern Ireland Protocol is the altar upon which the Belfast Agreement is being sacrificed.

"The political, economic and constitutional difficulties created by the Protocol threaten prosperity in Northern Ireland and the quality of our status within the United Kingdom."
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Mr Donaldson said that the "very delicate constitutional balance and guarantee which has underpinned political progress in Northern Ireland has been fundamentally undermined by the creation of a border in the Irish" and that the "so-called consent principle has been reduced to the final transfer of sovereignty and provides no protection against any creeping erosion of Northern Ireland's status as part of the United Kingdom".

He states that this is not the basis on which the Belfast Agreement was made, that "not a single elected unionist in Northern Ireland supports the Protocol yet your Office still champions it".

He added that: "One either supports the principles of the Belfast Agreement or one supports the NI Protocol but it is not possible to sustain support for both."

Mr Donaldson concluded: "The actions of the EU to date are endangering the very Agreement that you and others purport to defend. This is not good for the UK, the EU or the US but most importantly it is taking Northern Ireland backwards.

"I trust this short letter will cause you to reflect on the damage the Protocol is causing to Northern Ireland and recognise that the view of unionism can be no less worthy than the view of those wishing to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom. Unionist support for the Belfast Agreement is central to its continuing viability every bit as much as is the case for Nationalist support.

"History demonstrates that there must be a balance and an equilibrium in arrangements. When one side is out of balance the situation cannot be sustained. When not a single elected unionist supports the Protocol it is clear that balance has been lost."

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