“Less than two months ago DUP MLAs received a clear mandate that the problems created by the Northern Ireland Protocol must be resolved. That position has very strong support across the unionist community, and the Secretary of State himself recognises the damage being caused by the Protocol.
Two and a half years ago the UK Government made a commitment in the New Decade New Approach legislation to introduce legislation on Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market. The second reading of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill is but the second step (after its announcement) in a lengthy journey towards meeting that commitment and it can help restore the consensus politics needed to make progress and see devolution restored.
A stable foundation for devolution is a long-term necessity and is more important than any ‘threat’ to Assembly salaries. It will be for the Secretary of State to lay out a consistent approach as action against MLAs (unable to carry out their full functions because of the Protocol) would need to be accompanied by similar action against those MPs who fail to turn up for work in the House of Commons and have received £2million over recent years from the same public purse. “