‘Disgust’ at NI Brexit Protocol must be registered: Steve Aiken

A committee set up to implement the section of the Brexit arrangements specifically relating to Northern Ireland should be told of people’s “disgust” at the terms, Steve Aiken has said.
UUP leader Steve AikenUUP leader Steve Aiken
UUP leader Steve Aiken

The Ulster Unionist leader said it was time for First Minister Arlene Foster to “make amends” for the DUP’s support for “a hard Brexit”.

Ahead of the NI First and Deputy First Ministers attending a meeting of the UK/EU Joint Committee on the NI Protocol, Mr Aiken said Mrs Foster must “stand up for Northern Ireland”.

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“What ability they have to influence either Whitehall or the EU to reduce the impact of the Irish Sea border to the bare minimum remains to be seen. However, both ministers, and especially the First Minister, should make abundantly clear our opposition to the NI Protocol, a very unequal treaty, which threatens the Belfast Agreement,” he said.

Mr Aiken said “absolutely everything possible” must be done to protect trade, and added; “Arlene Foster and the DUP bear much responsibility since their ill-conceived support for a hard Brexit and Boris Johnson’s proposals containing a regulatory border in the Irish Sea on October 2 last year.

“Making the Joint Committee aware of the disgust felt by all of us who believe in the Union – and who want Northern Ireland to work – for the Northern Ireland Protocol and what it stands for, would demonstrate that they intend to make amends.”