Lord Dodds described the current situation as unsustainable and reminded the Government that without cross-community consent, the political institutions in Northern Ireland could not be safeguarded.
Lord Dodds said,
“The delicate balance of relationships across these Islands have been trashed as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
It has driven a coach and horses through the cross-community consent principle which has been at the very heart of all political progress in Northern Ireland.
The basis of the Belfast Agreement and all subsequent agreements, has been the requirement for significant decisions to command the support of both communities in Northern Ireland.
If the Government believes that Unionists in Northern Ireland would tolerate a situation where the Protocol would be exempt from these same cross-community consent requirements, then they need to think again.
The Amendment tabled by Baroness Hoey and I, seeks to restore that precious balance required to sustain the continuation of the political institutions in Northern Ireland.
It is simply unsustainable for people to expect that the institutions will just operate as normal while the East-West relationship continues to be undermined.
Urgent action is required from the Government. If done in a timely way, they would go some way towards alleviating the current crisis and perhaps avoiding what is coming down the road.”