Doug Beattie MC MLA Comments on the Lords Report on the Windsor Framework

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Doug Beattie MC MLA Comments on the Lords Report on the Windsor Framework

Doug Beattie MC MLA today commented after the release of the Lords Sub-Committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol’s report on the Windsor Framework.

Doug Beattie said: ‘The Lords Sub-Committee report on the Windsor Framework has outlined what we have known for some time that boycotting of the devolved institutions has had no effect on the Northern Ireland Protocol or on the negotiations.

The Ulster Unionist Party were clear on the Protocol as far back as the 2nd October 2019 when we said it would not work.  We were right, in the same way we were right when we said Brexit would be destabilising for the UK and in particular Northern Ireland.  The Windsor Framework is not the starting point we would have wished for, we are not the architects of it, we did not promote the Protocol or support Brexit. Yet we have to deal with the stark reality that the Windsor Framework will be implemented whether Stormont is up and running or not.  As we approach winter, once again we are of the belief that it would be better for all the people of Northern Ireland that Stormont was providing stability and delivering for all.  

As a Unionist I simply cannot promote the idea that Northern Ireland is not workable. This has been the main tactic of republicanism for many years and keeping the devolved institutions down just feeds into that narrative. We must make Northern Ireland work to safeguard our position within the United Kingdom.  That means governance, it means challenging the many issues surrounding the Framework while grasping any opportunities it might provide.

If, as they have intimated, His Majesty’s Government is not going to reopen negotiations on the Windsor Framework, what is the plan B? If it’s direct rule Ministers, as some are eagerly wishing for, be in no doubt Dublin will have a greater say in what happens in this part of the United Kingdom. It’s incumbent on all Unionists to return to the Executive as soon as possible to provide good government for the people of Northern Ireland and challenge the Windsor Framework from within.’