Leader of DUP calls Northern Ireland protocol ‘unnecessary’
DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson argued that the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol was not fit for purpose in an impassioned speech on Thursday morning.He noted that senior economist Dr Esmond Birnie warned that the protocol could be costing the UK as much as £850 million a year.He insisted this could be better spent elsewhere on areas of concern like healthcare and schooling.
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Tory reshuffle LIVE: Boris’ major Cabinet shake-up in chaos He added that the opportunity to use this money elsewhere was being wasted due to the EU’s insistence the UK stick to the damaging Northern Ireland protocol.
Mr Donaldson’s remarks came ahead of Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations Maroš Šefčovič’s meeting political, civil and business leaders to discuss the impact of the protocol on Northern Ireland.
The DUP leader said: “There can be no doubt that the Northern Ireland Protocol is not just having and creating a threat to the economic integrity of the United Kingdom.
“It is having real-world impacts on our economy.
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NI protocol is threatening UK and costing £850million a year – wasted because of the EU! (Image: SKY NEWS)
Donaldson warned that the Northern Ireland protocol could be costing as much as £850 million a year (Image: SKY NEWS) “Senior economist at the University of Ulster’s Business School, Dr Esmond Birnie, recently suggested that the cost of the Northern Ireland Protocol could be in the region of £850 million a year.
“How many operations in the health service could we have with £850 million a year?
“How many new schools could we build for our children with £850 million a year?
“Wasted because the EU persists with imposing a protocol we believe is entirely unnecessary.”
Mr Donaldson He went on to discuss the growing pressure on businesses and livelihoods going forward (Image: Getty) Alastair Campbell clashes with Anita Boateng on Brexit
He went on to discuss the growing pressure on businesses and livelihoods going forward due to their EU’s stance.
He said: “This is money that we simply cannot afford to lose.
“At the most practical level, the protocol is having serious impacts on many aspects of life in Northern Ireland.
“Although I am alarmed by the constitutional implications of the protocol it is assuredly not just a union issue.
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“The position, in relation to medicine and food in particular, is pressing and deeply concerning.
“The idea that the EU can prevent people in Northern Ireland from having equal access to vital medicines as is available in the rest of our own country is utterly reprehensible and indefensible.”
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