Alliance man: NI needs solutions to Protocol problems

It is time for political parties to come together on the NI Protocol, as was demonstrated at a recent Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council economic development meeting.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 7:52 pm
Letter to the editor

At March’s committee meeting, councillors unanimously agreed to write to both the UK Government and the European Union to raise concerns on behalf of the businesses who were experiencing trading difficulties due to the NI Protocol.

It is imperative that positive solutions are found to resolve this issue and help ease current tensions.

There is concern from some businesses in terms of the implementation of the NI Protocol, but there is also the potential reputational damage to wider business and tourism sectors.

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Therefore, having written to the EU and UK Government, I am now calling for a cross-party delegation to be assembled to engage directly with both these parties. Concerns could be raised on behalf of local businesses and communities, and possible solutions could include the provision of ‘maximum flexibility’ under the current agreement given Northern Ireland’s unique political situation, geographical location, and relative size compared to any potential impact on the EU Single Market – or a veterinary agreement, or another solution.

We came together as a committee, now we need to come together to agree positive solutions.

Brian Pope, Alliance councillor, Banbridge, and chairman of the council’s Economic Development and Regeneration Committee

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