First Minister Arlene Foster said,
"I welcome the commitments by the Prime Minister to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland. Our first 100 years have been turbulent yet we succeeded in so many ways but it is vital we lay a foundation for the next 100 years which is firmly based on a shared future with prosperity for all who live and work in Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister must also stand up for Northern Ireland and replace the Protocol, which is damaging to the economic and constitutional position of Northern Ireland. Not a single unionist Party in Northern Ireland supports this unworkable Protocol. Rather than protect the Belfast Agreement and its successor agreements, the Protocol has created societal division and economic harm.
Whilst grace periods have been extended unilaterally, we need a permanent solution so business can plan and the integrity of the United Kingdom internal market can be restored. The inherent problems of the Protocol can only lead to further divergence and greater difficulties over time if not replaced. The Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture has now confirmed that 20% of all checks across the entire EU, with grace periods intact, take place between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This is intolerable. We need the Prime Minister to act to deliver unfetter trade from GB to NI and to restore the balance of relationships between East-West as well as North-South."