Government must ensure NI's place in UK internal market is restored

DUP Peer Lord Dodds told Brexit Minister Lord Frost today that the Government must ensure Northern Ireland's place within the United Kingdom internal market is restored. He was responding after questioning the Minister Lord Frost in the House of Lords today.

By The Rt Hon Lord Dodds of Duncairn OBE Peer

Commenting afterwards Lord Dodds said,

"The Northern Ireland Protocol is not only having a major adverse impact on trade flows between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom but it continues to have a massively destabilising effect on political institutions and political progress in Northern Ireland.

We know the proposals from the European Union don't address the fundamental issues. That has been reinforced by businesses such as the Chairman of Marks & Spencer who said they will worsen the administrative burden and could result in firms such as his ceasing to send goods to Northern Ireland. The head of the Road Haulage Association also described the EU's proposals as "window dressing".

Whilst pressure has forced the European Union back to the negotiating table, if negotiations do not secure agreement on removing the Irish Sea border then it will be necessary for the Government to take action. That action must restore Northern Ireland's place within the UK internal market, within the UK Customs Union and to restore democratic accountability to Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom in the 21st Century.

Both Lord Frost and the Prime Minister have repeated their willingness to right the wrongs imposed by the Protocol. If the European Union do not want to reach an acceptable agreement then they must demonstrate that they will follow through on those words."

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