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DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has branded the statements about the Government’s intentions for the Northern Ireland Protocol as “a first step”.

Mr Campbell said,

“The movement announced by the Government on the Protocol is a tentative step forward.

Acceptance of the nature of the problem at least opens the possibility of establishing a solution, but it is just a first step.

A more fundamental step is getting the Government to accept that the EU, at the behest of the Irish government, used the spectre of the so-called hard border on the island of Ireland as something that had to be avoided at all costs. The Irish insisted that peace would be at risk.

This was, and remains an entirely bogus claim, purely used to apply pressure on naive Conservative negotiators who didn’t grasp there is no possibility under any circumstances of this ‘hard border’ being constructed.

Such a border could not be constructed and would be easily avoided by most people even if it was. At the height of the Troubles 25k soldiers on the NI side alone couldn’t seal the border.

The Government needs to face up to what this is, blackmail to achieve political leverage. Once such behaviour has been confronted a workable solution will be more easily reached.”