Diplomatic whataboutery between EU and UK Government must end – Beattie

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Diplomatic whataboutery between EU and UK Government must end – Beattie

Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA, said:

“Dealing with the Protocol and the cost of living crisis should be among the new Prime Minister`s top priorities. So far the Protocol has formed little part of the policy discussions in the Conservative Party leadership campaign. However, I welcome Brandon Lewis`s comments in the Newsletter last week that should Liz Truss become the new Prime Minister, she can be trusted to ‘resolve the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and protect our Union’. We need those words turned into action should Liz Truss succeed Boris Johnson.


“As soon as the Conservative Party leadership campaign is over, we need to see an end to the diplomatic whataboutery over the Northern Ireland Protocol between the EU and the UK Government. This has become endemic since the decision was made to take the foot off negotiations in February this year. At this stage we don`t care who said what when. The EU is as culpable as the UK Government and right now we need proper negotiations and Northern Ireland politicians must be in the room


“What we do care about is Northern Ireland and its people. The Protocol needs dealt with once and for all because it continues to damage the Belfast Agreement and places a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.


“The Ulster Unionist Party`s alternatives and solutions are there for all to see and have been since 2019. They also formed part of the UK Government`s Command Paper published in July 2021 and the Protocol Bill which has passed through the House of Commons.


“Those proposals should at least form the basis for dialogue between the United Kingdom Government and the EU, and if necessary, local political parties. All of Europe is facing into the combined headwinds of grim economic forecasts and a brutal war in Ukraine which could spread at any time. We need to resolve the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol so that political and economic focus can be exclusively directed towards other challenges. Failure to do so could have untold consequences.”