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Ahead of appearing virtually at the Executive Office Committee, the DUP’s Upper Bann MLA Diane Dodds has challenged EU Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič to stop ignoring the views of unionists regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Diane Dodds said,

“The European Union leaders of the past have been friends to Northern Ireland. Jacque Delors, whilst imperfect, genuinely sought to protect peace and stability by using his influence and EU funds. Foolishly and narrow-mindedly though, the current crop of leaders in Brussels have sought to use Northern Ireland as a bargaining chip to punish the United Kingdom.

Stability is best secured in Northern Ireland when there is broad support. Yet, not one single unionist MLA is a cheerleader for the Protocol, but Maroš Šefčovič still argues that it is the best outcome for Northern Ireland.

The EU position defies logic. They claim to:

  • protect the Belfast Agreement yet the Protocol turns the cross-community consent principle on its head and returned to majority rule.
  • want to avoid borders on the island of Ireland yet create a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
  • protect stability yet have ignored the universal rejection of the Protocol by unionists leading to very public protest.

There is little point in Maroš Šefčovič lecturing unionists about the Protocol tomorrow. He should recognise the flaws and set about working for a solution which respects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.”