Covid tests the latest example of how Protocol is harming Northern Ireland

DUP Upper Bann NI Assembly candidate Diane Dodds has said the threat from the Protocol on the supply of Covid tests is the latest demonstration of how it is harming Northern Ireland.

By Diane Dodds MLA

Upper Bann

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Diane Dodds said,

"We have a five-point plan for Northern Ireland. Part of it focuses on dealing with the Protocol. This is further evidence of why the Protocol needs removed.

A few weeks ago Northern Ireland couldn't benefit from moves to scrap VAT on energy efficiency measures because of the Protocol. Now the Protocol's restrictions threaten a shortage of Covid tests in Northern Ireland.

This all comes a year after the EU triggered Article 16 to stop vaccines coming to Northern Ireland. Despite the EU's claims that issues around medicine supply would be resolved, the Health Minister confirmed only a few weeks ago that it continues to cause significant issues around medicine supply into Northern Ireland.

The financial cost of the Protocol can be measured but the true cost in relation to VAT, medicines, Covid tests and damaged relationships is much, much greater. The Government have a responsibility to fix this crisis and to meet their own commitments about restoring Northern Ireland's relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Protocol's cheerleaders need to accept the truth about the Protocol. The Government appears to have accepted that truth, but they now need to act."

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