Northern Ireland deserves better – Beattie

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Northern Ireland deserves better – Beattie

Following his virtual meeting with European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič, Ulster Unionist Party leader, Doug Beattie MC MLA, said:

“I was pleased to be able to put my concerns about the EU proposals directly to Maros Šefčovič today. The Ulster Unionist Party know the problems created by the protocol as we have been highlighting them for the last two years. It is now time to focus on the solutions.

“The EU proposals may well be attractive to some business sectors, but to other sectors they have been oversold and will under-deliver. We have taken a step in the right direction as the EU indicate a willingness to move, but they don`t deal with some of the core issues. The detail of the wave topping proposals by the EU need to be analysed in full through negotiation and engagement.

“We need to fix this and if that is to happen we need a change in tone and language surrounding negotiations. It`s time to drop the adversarial language. If we are to reach a deal, the important conversations must involve the UK Command Paper`s proposals. A lop-sided deal will bring us all back to square one again. We simply cannot afford that.

“The issues caused by the Protocol need fixed in a permanent and lasting way because until we do, we won`t be able to get to grips with the soaring cost of living, and political energy isn`t being focused on helping frontline services like the NHS.

“However, we are at the start of a period of negotiation and I hope that those negotiations will result in a deal that produces a solution which delivers better for all the people of Northern Ireland, protects the Belfast Agreement and doesn`t undermine Northern Ireland`s position within the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland deserves better.”