Sir Jeffrey: "A good start, but actions speak louder than words"

The DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has welcomed the Foreign Secretary’s statement about plans to introduce legislation to deal with the NI Protocol but reminded the House of Commons that words are not enough.

Sir Jeffrey said,

“We warned about the consequences of the Protocol when it was first introduced. The Protocol threatens our place in the United Kingdom, endangers jobs for our people, drives up costs for customers and reduces choice on our shelves.

The statement today is a welcome if overdue step in addressing the problems created by the NI Protocol. Powersharing cannot coexist with the Protocol. Powersharing only works with the consent of both unionists and nationalists. Such consensus does not exist at the moment.

We believe in devolution and want to see it fully restored as soon as possible but it must be sustainable. Therefore, these matters must be dealt with in days and weeks rather than months or years. It is, after all, two and half years since the Government committed to legislate in New Decade New Approach.

As this legislation progresses, we will take a graduated and cautious approach. We want to see the Irish Sea border removed and the Government honouring previous agreements by restoring Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.

Legislation is now needed to repair the damage inflicted by the Protocol to the Acts of Union and put in place new and revised arrangements that are sensible.

The words today are a good start, but actions will speak louder than words.

It is progress that there is now a focus on the problem. This time last year, Brussels, Dublin, SF and the Alliance Party refused to even acknowledge the problem. They wanted the ‘rigorous implementation’ of the Protocol.”

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