Root cause of Protocol problems must be resolved rather than repeated promises to fix the symptoms

DUP Health Spokesperson Pam Cameron has said the promise from Maros Sefcovic that a resolution to the medicine blockade imposed by the Northern Ireland Protocol is a repetition of an earlier pledge that was not backed up with any action. She said that rather than seeking praise for promising to end problems caused by the Protocol the EU should seriously engage to remove their root cause.

By Pam Cameron MLA

South Antrim

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The South Antrim MLA said,

"The 'pledge' from Maros Sefcovic that the upcoming blockade on medicines coming to Northern Ireland from Great Britain would be resolved is obviously welcome. Far from highlighting any spirit of positivity from the European Union however, this issue demonstrates clearly the EU's approach throughout this process.

Why is the European Union leaving it until the very last minute to lift their threat to health from the people of Northern Ireland. The DUP brought this issue to the floor of the Assembly in May and the full extent of the issue was clear then. A few weeks later on 28th June Mr Sefcovic appeared before the Executive Office Committee and said that it was "very, very sensitive and also personally important for me we will sort out this very important issue".

Legislative change by the European Union was also promised at that meeting yet nothing has been done in the intervening period. The EU's approach has been one of foot-dragging, a stubborn refusal to accept problems exist or have been caused by the Protocol.

Unfortunately the people of Northern Ireland will now have to wait to see if Mr Sefcovic's September promise brings with it more action than his June promise did. We should not be praising the EU for promising to end a problem that did not need to be created in the first place. They need to accept that the Protocol has caused these issues and finally seriously engage in removing their root cause."

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