Sorcha Eastwood says deal on border checks ‘not enough’ for DUP as Donaldson US trip rescheduled for 2024
A party spokesman told the News Letter the leader’s trip would be rescheduled for early next year.
“Sir Jeffrey had planned an Autumn visit to Washington but cancelled the visit after the terrorist attack on Israel as the Foreign Relations focus in Washington is currently on the Middle East. We plan to reschedule the visit for early 2024.”
There has been speculation that a trip planned for next week was cancelled amid a failure so far to reach a deal with the Government over the Irish Sea border. The Belfast Telegraph reported that both the Secretary of State and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson had postponed visits where both men had been due to meet a range of high-profile figures. US sources quoted in the paper said they believed that the trips were planned to be amid a backdrop of political success after a deal was done.
Amid speculation about a possible deal on focusing on checks on the sea border yesterday, the Alliance Party’s Sorcha Eastwood told the BBC’s Nolan Show that she didn’t think that would be enough for some in the DUP. “I’m not sure that’s something that’s going to be enough – and that’s a problem for us all frankly”, she said.
Asked by Stephen Nolan if Alliance would be comfortable with Sir Jeffrey Donaldson getting what he wants from a deal, the Lagan Valley MLA said: “I’m not sure that he knows what he wants. What is it that he wants? There is no corporate message coming from the DUP en masse. You’re hearing different variations on a theme, and that’s an issue”.
In Parliament on Monday, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson asked the Secretary of State to work with him to ensure that “where goods are moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland they are not subject to EU customs processes that are neither necessary or fair or right”.
The Secretary of State said he looked forward to “continued engagement” with Sir Jeffrey in the next few days. “Because we do need to find a resolution for these issues”, he said.