Unionists entitled to use political leverage, says TUV leader Jim Allister

A “mendacious” Boris Johnson has been finally forced to make a choice between the Protocol or powersharing thanks to unionist leverage, Jim Allister has said.

By Henry McDonald
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 6:30 am

The TUV leader told the Assembly yesterday that the unionist community was entitled to use political pressure to fight back against the post-Brexit trade deal.

In his speech during the debate ahead of the failed attempt to elect a Speaker, Mr Allister said: “We are in a situation, as unionists in Northern Ireland, where we are being expected to live under the unbearable: a Protocol that decrees and operates on the basis that Great Britain is a foreign country. That is something no unionist can ever come to terms with. Therefore, all unionists should be on the side of exercising the leverage that is available to seek to force to change that situation.

“That is why the mendacious Prime Minister whom we have, has to be brought to the point of choice. Does he want to save the Protocol, or does he want to save these institutions? It is as simple as that.”

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TUV leader Jim Allister

He continued: “I appreciate that the Protocol fanatics cannot come to terms with the fact that they have embraced a system that is supposed to have consent at its heart but do not wish to live by that system.

“They seem to think that unionist concerns are there to be trampled on and that everyone else’s concerns are there to be adhered to. Well, I’m sorry: with the 65,000 unionist voices that I have, I will not allow anyone to trample unionist concerns, and I will make sure that unionist concerns are heard and listened to in the House.”

Mr Allister added: “The Protocol itself is causing pain. It adds excessive costs to the cost of living through transport costs. It is causing businesses that hitherto supplied trade to our supermarket shelves and elsewhere to cease to trade. The fundamental point is this: we have a Prime Minister and parties in the House who will have to choose whether they want these institutions or the Protocol. It is a choice for you all.”