DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has reiterated the need for the Government to take direct and meaningful action to deal with the Protocol and restore Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom internal market.
Commenting, Mr Campbell said:
“With every day that passes the impact of the Protocol on lives and livelihoods in Northern Ireland waxes worse. On an almost daily basis we hear reports of new businesses and more aspects of normal life rocked by this unjustified disruption to trade from our own domestic market in Great Britain. Despite this, the EU’s aggressive move to invoke Article 16 has been met with ambivalence by Downing Street.
For the Government to agree to such arrangements in the first place was a monumental error of judgement but to allow them to take a stranglehold without any serious response to the EU represents a conscious act of bad faith to people in Northern Ireland. This trust can only be restored by direct action which frees our Province from the Protocol. Minor tweaks or tinkering at the edges simply will not wash with those who suffer the consequences each and every day.
The Prime Minister speaks about wanting to keep the Protocol to respect the Belfast Agreement but I suspect this is more out of convenience than conviction. In reality the Protocol has already blown a huge hole in this provision by disrupting the east-west relationship bypassing the requirement for cross community consent prior to implementation.
Not a single voice from any shade of unionism in Northern Ireland supports the Protocol. The Government must quickly realise that far from garnering support for these flawed arrangements, doing nothing further tilts the delicate balance of relationships within Northern Ireland. Consent was a cornerstone of agreements, for this, there is none.
Unionism proudly stands united in opposition to the Protocol. In the coming days, it is important that this practical spirit of cooperation continues to send a strong signal to those in London, Belfast, Dublin and Brussels who are content to downplay the disruption. For our part, the DUP will, with other Unionist representatives send a united message to London, Dublin and Brussels that Northern Ireland must be freed from the Protocol trap and our economic interests restored.”