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The DUP’s East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has said the threatening and ‘suck it up’ approach of Simon Coveney to the NI Protocol is reckless and tone deaf to the genuine concerns and problems created by the flawed Protocol.

Mr Campbell said,

“From rural farmers to big pharma, the NI Protocol has been an unmitigated disaster. Whether it has been placing pets in Protocol ‘purgatory’ or putting the brakes on simple packages from family and friends, people of all faiths and none now recognise the flawed nature of this EU arrangement.

Even many of the Protocol’s early cheerleaders now recognise the flaws.

Everyone seems to see the problems except Simon Coveney. To tell people essentially to ‘suck it up’ is reckless and only serves to ratchet up feelings about the Protocol. His threat of legal action, is nothing short of inflammatory.

Where Micheál Martin is prepared to recognise the problems and work to find solutions, Simon Coveney is brandishing legal threats. The Irish Times reported Mr Coveney as saying:

“[we] remind the UK that there are consequences to not implementing agreements that have a basis in international law.”

Rather than sending legal missives at each other, there needs to be genuine action to recognise that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and should be treated as such. The constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom has to be restored. Short term fixes and sticking plasters are not what we need.”