DUP still haven’t faced up to the reality of their own actions regarding the Protocol – Empey

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DUP still haven’t faced up to the reality of their own actions regarding the Protocol – Empey

The Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has said that comments in a radio interview on Monday by the DUP First Minister Paul Givan, in which he repeated the DUP’s threat to collapse the Institutions if unionist concerns over the Protocol are not addressed, demonstrated clearly that the DUP still hasn’t faced up to the reality of their own actions in bringing the Protocol into existence.

Lord Empey said;

“It is undeniable and obvious that there are profound concerns amongst unionists about the Protocol. From the moment Boris Johnson proposed a border in the Irish Sea, which he did on 2nd October 2019, the Ulster Unionist Party pointed out the dangers and issued 35 statements in the period up to 17th October 2019 when the present Protocol was agreed with the EU.

“But what Paul Givan fails to do in his comments is to recognise the role played by him and his Westminster colleagues in the period between 2nd and 17th October 2019. He seems to fail to notice or acknowledge the elephant in the room, which was his party's response to Boris Johnson's proposals to Brussels. What was that response? It was to describe Boris Johnson's proposal for a border in the Irish Sea as 'a serious and sensible way forward!’

“Never forget that only a few hours before Boris proposed the Border in the Irish Sea, he was being cheered by senior DUP Members at a reception at the Tory Conference!

“I think Paul needs to reflect on this and realise that his Party - which at that stage was propping up Johnson's government at Westminster - failed to withdraw that support and defend the Union which was severely damaged by what has now become the Protocol.

“Given that the DUP agreed a document which stated that all goods coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland would have to be notified to the authorities in advance before entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, it seems to me that they need to own up to their misjudgements before trying, yet again, to plunge Northern Ireland into a crisis which is part of their own making.

“All this proves that the DUP, as enthusiastic Brexiteers, didn't think things through, didn't take account of the multiple warnings that were flagged up at the time and didn't succeed in securing the Union, but have presided over its weakening.”