DUP arguing for a health border in the Irish Sea – Chambers

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DUP arguing for a health border in the Irish Sea – Chambers

Alan Chambers MLA, Ulster Unionist Party Health spokesperson, has challenged the DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, to state if he agrees with his MLA colleagues arguing for a health border in the Irish Sea.

Alan Chambers said:

“It is unbelievable to hear members of the DUP such as Edwin Poots criticising Robin Swann and arguing against the extension of Health regulations that bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the United Kingdom. Do they actually realise what they are saying? They are arguing for a health border down the Irish Sea, denying the people in this part of the United Kingdom the same health protections that are available in England, Scotland and Wales.

“What if there was a serious outbreak of a different variant in another country? Northern Ireland would be the only part of the UK that could not act to protect its people. The DUP need to make their minds up. Their ideological zeal against Health regulations has blinded them to taking responsible decisions.

“The DUP have a long and dismal record of attempting to put obstacles in the way of the Health Minister throughout the course of the Covid pandemic and unfortunately this is carrying through to today. What Robin has proposed is an insurance policy which we never want to use. To do otherwise could leave us exposed in a way which would be grossly irresponsible. The Health Minister has stated that he has ‘no plans and certainly no desire to introduce any further restrictions.’

“I would also remind the DUP that it is precisely because there is no Executive in place, that responsibility has fallen to the Health Minister to take the hard decisions. He is behaving as the adult in the room while the DUP descend to their usual playground antics, attacking Robin Swann as he goes about his work. If there was an Assembly and Executive in place this would be discussed around the Executive table and debated in the Assembly.

“Are Edwin Poots and Paul Frew the authentic voice of the DUP on this, actively arguing for a Health border in the Irish Sea or does Jeffrey Donaldson have a view? I would ask the DUP leader to explain if he supports the comments made by his MLA colleagues?”