UK Government action on NI Protocol welcome – Beattie

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UK Government action on NI Protocol welcome – Beattie

UUP Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA said:


“It is welcome that the UK Government is now saying it is going to move unilaterally to protect Northern Ireland’s place within the UK internal market.  It is deeply regretful that we have come to this point, but the stand-off cannot continue.  The EU needs to change its mandate.  If they are in agreement that the landing zone is removing checks on goods which are coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and staying here, then why have we not reached a break-through yet?

“We warned both the EU and the UK Government that if action wasn’t taken before the election, what would come after might be unsalvageable.  We did so last year and again this year in London and Brussels.  Nothing was done.  The people of Northern Ireland are now faced with no functioning government for an unknown period in the midst of a cost of living crisis and unprecedented pressures on our Health Service.     


“Throughout this process we have acknowledged the EU’s right to protect its Single Market, but our foremost concern is that of Northern Ireland.  We have been clear that an internal border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom is totally unacceptable.  We have produced solutions that could have seen this resolved before now and in a way that didn’t require unilateral action.  This is not simply a unionist concern, it is something that affects all the people of Northern Ireland.  It requires more than what has been a circular conversation for months.  If all parties in the negotiation are agreed on what the way forward is, then they should have gotten on with it before now.”