“NIO is perpetuating division rather than restoring balance” - Weir

The DUP’s Strangford MLA Peter Weir has said the continued failure of the Government to fulfil commitments in New Decade, New Approach agreement will only serve to hamper devolution and is a further demonstration of the need to restore fairness.

By Lord Weir of Ballyholme Peer

Mr Weir said:

“If the Government legislates on the cultural aspects of New Decade, New Approach but fails to legislate for the removal of the Irish Sea border, that would be another example of the NIO taking a one-sided approach in Northern Ireland. It would be the definition of cherry-picking.

Progress is only made in Northern Ireland when there is a deal which unionists and nationalists can support. The Government made a commitment in NDNA to legislate by January 2021 to deal with the Irish Sea Border, yet they have failed to do so even though not one single elected unionist supports the Protocol.

The Irish Sea border is costing £2.5m every day. It is stopping the free flow of goods between one part of the UK and another and in so doing is driving up prices at our tills and adding to the squeeze on household budgets amid a cost-of-living crisis. On the other hand, the lack of a cultural package is having no material negative impact on most people living here.

Rather than trying to restore fairness and balance, the NIO is doubling-down with a one-sided approach which serves to further undermine devolution.”

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