MP: Government must act to protect peace process
Yesterday the Government published the legislation it may bring to Parliament to fix the problems with the Northern Ireland protocol, which was required as part of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU to ensure there was no ‘hard border’ on the island of Ireland. However, even the partial application of the protocol is causing stress on our union by introducing red tape and other barriers on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and this is endangering the peace process as unionists will not participate in the power-sharing arrangements until the shortcomings of the protocol are addressed.
“The Northern Ireland protocol is putting stress on our union, and threatens the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. No British Government can stand idly by when trade barriers are being imposed in the UK. In addition, as someone who served in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, the peace process must be protected.”
“18 months of negotiations with the EU have been fruitless. The Protocol was entered into on the understanding that the EU would apply a light-touch to Great Britain/Northern Ireland border checks provided their Single Market was not being distorted. Yet, 20% of all EU border checks are taking place on a trade route which accounts for less than 0.5% of the EU’s total. EU ideology, or worse, is threatening the peace in Northern Ireland.”
“Hopefully the publication of this legislation, which is in accordance with international law and which will not harm the EU whilst protecting intra-UK trade, will focus minds in the EU to negotiate seriously with the UK. If the EU shows the required flexibility, the legislation may never be needed. If not, we need to pass it.”