Sir Jeffrey - "Protocol must be replaced with arrangements that unionists can support"

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP has met with Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin in Belfast where they discussed the need for the Protocol to be replaced with arrangements that unionists can support. They also discussed the Republic of Ireland’s role in the statutory inquiry into the Omagh Bomb.

DUP Legacy spokesperson Emma Little-Pengelly MLA and EU Exit spokesman Gordon Lyons MLA were also part of the DUP delegation.

Speaking afterwards Sir Jeffrey said,

“This was a useful and constructive conversation. Over eighteen months ago we outlined the parameters for the way forward. We set our tests and those continue to be our yardstick for measuring any deal between the EU and UK.

There will be no restoration of the NI Executive until the Protocol is replaced with arrangements that unionists, as well as nationalists, can support. Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market must be restored and our constitutional arrangements must be respected.

We are seeking the restoration of democratic decision making to the Assembly, replacing the democratic deficit created by the Protocol. Why should anyone want to deny the people of Northern Ireland, through their democratically elected representatives, a say or a vote on vast swathes of the laws governing our economy and which affect the people of Northern Ireland so directly?”

On the statutory inquiry into the Omagh Bomb Sir Jeffrey said,

“I welcome this inquiry and I pay tribute to the Omagh families who have travelled a long and difficult road. If this inquiry is to establish the full picture however, that requires the Republic of Ireland to also hold a similar process in parallel.

The bomb was placed by republican terrorists in Omagh but it was planned, prepared and transported to Omagh from the Republic of Ireland. I trust the Irish government will step up to the mark on this legacy issue as well as others.”

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