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DUP Deputy Leader and Peer Nigel Dodds has said the Government is right to take unilateral action on grace periods but emphasised that the Government has not yet delivered a permanent solution. In particular he drew the attention of fellow peers to the fact that 20% of all regulatory checks carried out by the EU are between GB and NI.

Nigel Dodds said,

“The Department of Agriculture in NI has said the number of regulatory checks required by the crazy Protocol equates to 20% of all similar checks across the entire EU internationally.

That’s more checks in Northern Ireland than carried out by any EU member state. It’s an absolutely horrendous situation.

And that’s with the grace periods still in force. If they end as the EU and anti-Northern Ireland forces are demanding, the 1,350 retail lorries arriving in NI per week which at present require a single declaration, will in future, require 20,000 to 30,000 between them.

That’s absolutely unacceptable. That would be nearly the same amount as is done for the entire EU and it would be for the internal UK movements of lorries delivering to and from the UK.

It’s time for Foreign Minister Coveney and all the rest of the crowd who wish to harm Northern Ireland’s economy and damage the free flow of trade within the UK internal market to wise up and calm down.

The UK government has the right to take action to protect the internal market of the UK. And the figures released by the Department of Agriculture prove it is action which is absolutely necessary.

Whilst the UK Government's unilateral action is welcome, it is not a permanent solution.

The Government must ensure this ongoing threat is removed for good. Nor should the government be blown about by people who do not have Northern Ireland’s real interests at heart. The critics are more concerned about advancing their united Ireland agenda or protecting the EU which has shown a blatant disregard for Northern Ireland by triggering Article 16 when it suited them.

The Government must put the people and businesses of Northern Ireland first.”