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DUP Leader Arlene Foster has urged the Government to trigger article 16 and deal with the rupturing of our east-west relationship caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mrs Foster was speaking ahead of a debate in Westminster on Monday, triggered by the DUP’s Parliamentary e-petition which urged the Government to take action to replace this flawed and deeply damaging Protocol.

Mrs Foster said,

“On Monday, Parliament will debate the e-petition I tabled calling for the triggering of Article 16 and unfettered trade from GB-NI. Over 140k have signed the petition with the 100k signatures threshold for a debate surpassed in just over 24hrs.

There is no question of the public anger towards the Protocol. The petition demonstrated that. Brussels and London must work for a permanent solution. Temporary measures will not work. The Protocol is flawed and has ruptured the east-west strand of the Belfast Agreement.

The European Union and the Government must recognise that to press on with the Protocol with every single unionist party opposed to it will lead to failure. Every agreement involving Northern Ireland has always required the consent of all sides. Consensus has been our watchword. The European Union claim their triggering of Article 16 was “a mistake” but to close their eyes to unionist opposition to this Protocol will be another mistake.

The Prime Minister must work for a permanent solution before the end of the grace periods when even greater disruption will become apparent. There needs to be unfettered trade from GB-NI.”