NI Protocol must be altered, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson tells the EU
The EU must accept the need to renegotiate the NI protocol, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said ahead of a meeting with the European Commission vice president today.
Writing in today’s News Letter in advance of meeting Maroš Šefčovič, the DUP leader said that the protocol – which on January 1 created the Irish Sea border – is something which “continues to weaken Northern Ireland’s economic and constitutional position within the United Kingdom”.
The Lagan Valley MP said that extending grace periods, which delay parts of the border coming into force, involves “only temporary relief and stores up problems for another day”, while failing to address the undemocratic nature of the protocol and the uncertainty for businesses.
He said that “there needs to be complete reboot of relationships and Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market must be restored in full”.
Sir Jeffrey said that there had been “previous broken promises by the UK and EU” and added: “There is an urgent need for Maroš Šefčovič to inject a sense of realism into the EU’s approach to the protocol...My message to Maros Sefcovic today will be simple. It is time for the European Commission to recognise that the protocol has failed. They need to come back to the table with a willingness to renegotiate an outcome which respects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom”.