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DUP Leader Edwin Poots has said the time for talking about the Protocol problems has passed. It is now time for action.

Mr Poots said,

“The engagement between Lord Frost and Maros Sefcovic has been described as ‘frank’ but more talking is not what Northern Ireland needs. We need the NI Protocol to be removed.

The Protocol has been a disaster both politically and economically. Even the Protocol’s early chief cheerleaders in Northern Ireland who initially called for its ‘rigorous implementation’ are now searching for the reverse gear.

Animals with full traceability pose no threat to the Single Market. Checks on pets and guide dogs for diseases that have not been found in the British Isles since 1922 were equally illogical which is why I have stepped in to stop them. Crippling bureaucracy on our medicines is downright reckless.

The Protocol was foisted on Northern Ireland against our will and means there are two and a half times more checks at our ports than at Rotterdam, one of the world’s largest ports. It has resulted in 15,000 checks per week meanwhile we have neither the infrastructure nor staff to meet the EU’s demands.

The Protocol has failed and has only delivered instability and higher prices for Northern Ireland.

It is time to remove the internal UK barriers rather than talking about the outworkings of those barriers.

I will be meeting Maros Sefcovic next week. If Brussels is deaf to the problems, then our own government must act unilaterally to protect Northern Ireland."