Northern Ireland: UK 'can't have protocol and executive' says MP
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Carla Lockhart, member of the Democratic Unionist Party, slammed the Prime Minister for “wilfully legislating” in a manner that could compromise the unity of the United Kingdom. Ms Lockhart challenged the “disappointing” Government to act immediately to ensure the Northern Ireland Government can form an Executive peacefully.
She told the BBC: “The position remains very very clear on this issue. The Government cannot have the protocol and the executive.
“It is one or the other. And we want the border to go in the Irish Sea.
“Our agenda has always been to ensure that the Government acts on this. I know that my Party leader has had discussion about this with the Prime Minister this morning.
“We want to see legislation brought forward that will restore Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom.
“It cannot be hyphened off. You only have to look at the cost of living in Northern Ireland and the fact that it can’t even be addressed because of the protocol, so we want to see it go.
“It’s very disappointing that the Government signed up to [the protocol]. We have always warned the Government against it.
“We have always consistently voted against it and we are consistently pressing the Government to act in this regard.
“We’ve heard plenty of words, plenty of bluster, but we need the Government to act. We cannot have a Government that willfully legislates over the disillusionment of this great United Kingdom.”
The UK Government has taken no decision as yet on the Northern Ireland protocol, it was announced today.
It still wants to fix some of its “underlying challenges” to tackle a serious situation, a spokesman for Mr Johnson said.
He said: “The situation on the protocol is unchanged from yesterday, no decisions have been taken. We want to fix some of the underlying challenges and think the situation is extremely serious.
Earlier, Ireland’s premier warned Johnson against unilaterally seeking to overrule any of the post-Brexit rules agreed with the European Union for trade in British-run Northern Ireland.
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Complicated negotiations with the EU have failed to yield any results over the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, warned that Sinn Fein could use their local election victory last week to initiate a border poll.
It is the first time the nationalist party has emerged victorious in the elections, taking 27 council seats.
Northern Ireland have been unable to install a new Executive as the DUP is refusing to cooperate without more clarity on the protocol.
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