Beattie warns that ‘Devil is in the Detail’ as changes to Windsor Framework delivery made public.

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Beattie warns that ‘Devil is in the Detail’ as changes to Windsor Framework delivery made public.

Speaking on the news that the Secretary of State is to bring forward changes which will allow the Windsor Framework to be administered from Westminster, Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Doug Beattie MC, MLA commented.

“This announcement that the United Kingdom Government plans to ‘syphon off’ aspects of the Windsor Framework to a ‘direct rule’ process is the final proof that our call for the restoration of devolved government is the right one.

 “The noises made over the last 16 months that, by keeping the Assembly down, the Windsor Framework or its Protocol predecessor would be rewritten, have been proven wrong. Clearly, the only way to challenge the Framework and maximise its opportunities is by restoring devolved government and making our case for change.

 “Westminster has ensured, with this new legislation, that the Windsor Framework will be fully implemented, meeting the United Kingdom’s international commitments. In fact, they have removed the argument that no Unionist in Northern Ireland should be expected to implement what they do not support and by doing so, they have empowered Government Ministers to take responsibility for its implementation.

 “The breadth and scope of the Windsor Framework will affect all departments across Northern Ireland, particularly DAERA, the departments for the Economy and Finance. It is important to fully understand the financial piece underpinning the Framework as this legislation is laid and the Framework implemented. Therefore, the Ulster Unionist Party will scrutinize these proposals once they are made available, remembering, as always, the devil will be in the detail.

“The Windsor Framework is not the starting point we had hoped for, and it comes on the back of a Northern Ireland Protocol that some unionists supported, and we warned against from its inception. Both were delivered by a Brexit we said would negatively impact Northern Ireland and endanger our place in the Union.

“It is for others to reflect on their role in getting us to where we find ourselves. However, if you view the last seven years objectively, it is obvious that the Ulster Unionist Party has put Northern Ireland and its people first at every step and been right in our long-term analysis.”