Sir Jeffrey indicates Protocol progress will not be until New Year amid omicron battle

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has indicated that the renewed battle against Covid is partly to blame for pushing any action over the Protocol back into next year.

By Adam Kula
Monday, 20th December 2021, 3:22 pm
Democratic Unionist Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
Democratic Unionist Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.

His remarks come in the wake of the resignation of top UK Brexit negotiator Lord Frost, and his replacement by Liz Truss.

Speaking to BBC Good Morning Ulster about what will happen next concerning the Protocol, Sir Jeffrey said: “At the moment, in terms of what we have to deal with Omicron, we have got enough to deal with about two or three weeks.”

He was also quoted as saying: “I have tried to be reasonable, I have given time and space to these negotiations... [but] the prime minister is faced with a choice, and I think that choice will come very early in the new year.”

The TUV issued a statement in the name of East Antrim candidate Norman Boyd, which said: “Sir Jeffery Donaldson’s new deadline for action on the Protocol - ‘very early in the New Year’ - simply underscores the weakness of his leadership of Unionism to date.

“Why would anyone take this seriously given that his deadline of action by the end of October passed without action?

“Making a political threat and then failing to follow it through means that the latest warning will be dismissed by Westminister and the EU.

“The time for treats and warnings is long over. The time for action was long ago.”

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