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DUP Parliamentary Party Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson alongside DUP Upper Bann MLA and Economy Minister Diane Dodds has met with steel importers and fabricators to discuss solutions which can avoid our manufacturing industry in Northern Ireland being burdened with a 25% steel tariff due to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Commenting after the briefing Sir Jeffrey said,

“The Northern Ireland Protocol has created a chain of problems for various sectors in our economy across retail, agri-food, manufacturing, horticulture and our food and drink industry. These are problems which we warned about and gave as our rationale for voting against the Protocol.

With the Protocol operating, the Government must work intensively to bring solutions to the table. We have met with a broad range of sectors who are suffering disruption at varying levels. We have taken their concerns and are now pressing the Government to take steps to ensure solutions are implemented.

It was very useful to hear today of the views and concerns from a number of local businesses operating in the steel sector in Northern Ireland. Their continued viability is vital for manufacturing in Northern Ireland.

We welcome the Government action to resolve issues about second-hand cars and we were able to brief the industry today about progress on a solution for steel importation but this is just a small fraction of the number of solutions which are needed. We expect an announcement from the Government this week on the interim solution to the steel tariffs issue.

Just as we have worked with the heavy manufacturing sector, we will work with the other sectors to ensure the Government understands the problems and has a broad outline of what a solution could look like.”