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DUP Westminster Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said the reality of the Northern Ireland Protocol is beginning to become apparent in Westminster and now is the time for action from the Government to restore Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom internal market.

Speaking after the matter was raised in an Urgent Question in the House of Commons the Lagan Valley MP said,

"It is now evident that the message is finally getting through at Westminster, albeit very belatedly. Before my question to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, former Conservative Leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith bluntly but accurately described the Protocol as "a mess".

Michael Gove did accept that the DUP had warned about the Protocol right from its inception. We recognised then, which others are only starting to realise now, that it would inevitably cause economic problems, leading ultimately to the diversion of trade which has now become evident. It also upsets the delicate balance of relationships within Northern Ireland provided for under the Belfast Agreement.

It is to be welcomed that Michael Gove recognised in Parliament that issues impacting the people of Northern Ireland are not "teething problems". He talked about making a "practical and beneficial difference" to the people of Northern Ireland. People in this part of the United Kingdom will be awaiting evidence of what action the Government intends to take to deliver on those words.

The reality of the Northern Ireland Protocol is becoming apparent to many more people in Westminster and beyond. It The Government must act and it is not tinkering that is required, but a restoration of Northern Ireland's place within the United Kingdom single market."