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DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has said the UK Internal Market Bill is a step forward for Northern Ireland but serious issues still need to be addressed.

Commenting Mr Wilson said,

“The Withdrawal Agreement is bad for Northern Ireland both economically and constitutionally. Our Ministers, MPs and MLAs have repeatedly pressed the Government for change. This has evidently focused attention on the flaws and the importance of protecting Northern Ireland’s interests.

This Bill is a step forward and a recognition by the Government of the defects of the Northern Ireland Protocol and its potential impact on the internal market of the whole of the United Kingdom but more work is required.

We will take time to fully consider the effects of the Bill but there is still more work to be done with regards to state aid and other issues.

We are focused on ensuring consumer choice and costs are not impeded as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol. It is important that goods arriving in Northern Ireland are not subject to unnecessary new checks which in turn will lead to increased cost and reduced choice for consumer.

It is vital that Northern Ireland businesses have unfettered access to the Great Britain market which is so important to Northern Ireland and it is welcome that this bill sets out potential helpful steps in this respect.

With Northern Ireland’s competitors able to support their emerging sectors through government aid, it would be wrong and place Northern Ireland firms at a clear disadvantage, if we are restrained in a state aid straight jacket unlike the rest of the UK. We will be pressing the Government to address this matter.”