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DUP Leader Arlene Foster has said the Joint EU-UK Committee meeting was deeply frustrating as the European Union refused to recognise the flaws of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mrs Foster said,

“It is time for the United Kingdom Government to act unilaterally. The grace period ends next month, yet the European Union refused to recognise the problems or offer any sensible solutions.

It is clear Maros Sefcovic and his team is not serious. From 29 January until 24 February the European Union has prevaricated, dragged its feet and closed its eyes to the serious crisis within our supply chain.

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons that there would be unfettered trade within the United Kingdom, yet the Northern Ireland Protocol has completely ruptured the flow of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Whether from a constitutional or economic point of view, Northern Ireland cannot be cut off from our main trading partner by a Protocol which not a single unionist Party in Northern Ireland supports.

With a stubborn and inflexible response from Brussels it is now a matter for the Government to step up and protect the United Kingdom internal market.

The Government should have listened intently as Maros Sefcovic explained the solution to problems with goods flowing from GB-NI, was for companies in Northern Ireland to source their goods from within the European Union. Such a disruption of trade within the UK internal market should not be tolerated by the Government. It is offensive to the very core principles of the United Kingdom.”