TUV: Unionists must send strong message after Secretary of State Brandon Lewis’ comments on Northern Ireland Protocol

An apparent retreat by London to rectify the Northern Ireland Protocol shows why unionists must today use their vote to send a strong message, says Jim Allister.

By Staff Reporter
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 3:23 pm

The TUV leader made the comments after Secretary of State Brandon Lewis intimated a move against the NI Protocol was unlikely to feature in the Queen’s Speech.

Reacting, Mr Allister said that if the UK Government was “resiling (again) from action against the Protocol” then “unionists must use the election to send the strongest rejection of the iniquitous Protocol by voting TUV - No Sea Border”.

He continued: “A rising TUV vote will be taken as the catalyst for the need for action, not words.

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Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the Government wants to resolve issues with the protocol by agreement with the EU.

“While others have flirted with ‘the best of both worlds’ nonsense and operated the Poots Posts, TUV is the voice of unrelenting opposition to the Protocol. There can be no misinterpretation of what a vote for TUV means.”

On Wednesday evening, the Secretary of State said the Government wants to resolve issues with the protocol by agreement with the European Union.

Asked if the Government is planning to introduce a new law allowing it to waive elements of the protocol, Mr Lewis signalled that it would not be in the Queen’s Speech.

He told an interview with ITV’s Robert Peston: “Our focus is on resolving the issues with the protocol, ideally we want to do that by agreement with the European Union. The challenge we’ve got at the moment…”

Pressed on whether an announcement would come next week, he said: “No, Robert, we’ve not said that.”

Mr Lewis later tweeted: “We will do whatever it takes to protect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. It is clear that the Protocol does not have the support of the unionist community and is not working for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

“We have to address the outstanding issues and we want to do that by agreement with the EU, but as we have always made clear, we will not shy away from taking further steps if necessary.”