06/10/2021

DUP Welcomes 'Constructive' Meeting On NI Protocol

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has described a meeting with Brexit Secretary Lord Frost and the EU Ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida on the Northern Ireland Protocol as "constructive ".

Speaking after the meeting Sir Jeffrey said: "The Government recognise the conditions exist for Article 16 to be triggered. The Northern Ireland Protocol is damaging Northern Ireland economically and constitutionally. It is damaging the Belfast Agreement - the same deal the European Union say they want to protect. The Protocol is putting future progress in Northern Ireland in jeopardy.

"Whilst timelines are progress, this is a time for action as every day is causing further damage politically and economically.
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"There is a growing acceptance that the Protocol has failed and change is required. Even some parties who were recently demanding 'rigorous implementation' of the Protocol have accepted it is not sustainable. Whilst there have been signs of movement on the part of the EU, now is the time for action and real progress.

"Further delay only harms the people of Northern Ireland who are faced with reduced choice on the shelves and higher prices at the till. Whilst we recognise the need for arrangements that can protect the EU Single Market, our priority is to secure the integrity of the U.K. internal market. This must be recognised and protected in any new arrangements.

"If the European Union is serious about protecting the Belfast Agreement then they must accept that the Irish Sea border must go."

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