Mrs Dodds said,
“The recall of the NI Assembly by Sinn Fein was a stunt rather than any serious attempt to restore powersharing. If those who petitioned the Assembly sitting truly wanted to restore fully functioning devolved government, they would have joined us in campaigning for the Protocol to be replaced by arrangements that unionists can support. Progress is only made with the support of unionists and nationalists.
The Protocol has polluted every area of government:
- As we try to fix our NHS, the Protocol is jeopardising the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.
- As we try to improve our infrastructure, the Protocol has triggered a costly 25% tariff on the steel used to build our schools, roads, hospitals, and houses.
- As we try to help people with the cost of living, the Protocol is driving up transport costs and the prices on our shelves.
- As we encourage people to install green energy, Treasury tax breaks are not available in Northern Ireland because of the Protocol.
Devolution can only flourish when there is a solid foundation with cross-community support. We want to see fully functioning devolved government restored in Stormont but that can only happen when the Protocol is replaced by arrangements that unionists can support.”