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During an Urgent Question in the House of Commons Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart has called for the Government to take immediate action to undo the damage being done to Northern Ireland by the Protocol and warned that further damage could be done to political relations both within Northern Ireland and on a North-South basis if a resolution to East-West issues is not found.

Carla Lockhart said:

“I am totally opposed to the Northern Ireland Protocol. The DUP has opposed it at every turn. It goes against the integrity of the United Kingdom and is causing mayhem for businesses and consumers right across the community in Northern Ireland. This is a message I am delivering in the most robust terms daily to the Government, while also trying to find short term solutions to assist businesses to overcome the obstacles faced.

However, there is no doubt that we need a longer-term solution that is not to be found in the shape of the Protocol. Any fix must respect Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom, and the economic integrity of the UK.

A broken East-West relationship is in no-one’s interests, as it destabilises the foundations upon which everything is built. If that foundation is shaken, inevitably further damage will ensue to other relationships both within Northern Ireland and North-South. It cannot be ignored that the Unionist community opposition to the Protocol is clear, and with consent of both communities being a fundamental aspect of our politics it is unsustainable that the Government do not act to address Unionist concerns.

We cannot simply allow this matter to drift while our economy is damaged, and we remain a pawn for the EU who would even go so far as to stop vaccines entering Northern Ireland. The time for the Government to act is now. Dither and delay will only result in making the solutions needed even greater.”