Brexit: DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson slams Northern Ireland protocol
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The Northern Ireland protocol is the piece of legislation that allows lorries to deliver goods without having to complete checks and paperwork when they cross the border from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland. Before the United Kingdom left the EU it was easy to maintain an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland because they both followed the same EU trade rules, meaning that no checks were required. However, Brexit meant that a new arrangement was needed as the EU has strict food rules and requires border checks when products such as milk and eggs arrive from non-EU countries. Checks on British goods now take place at Northern Ireland ports to make sure they comply with EU law.
This has led to criticism that a new border has been created in the Irish sea.
Despite signing the agreement in 2019, the UK government said that the protocol represented a huge compromise for the UK and is calling for changes to the protocol such as getting rid of checks and paperwork between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and removing the role of the European Commission and the European Court of Justice in overseeing how the protocol works.
Talks on changes to the protocol are ongoing, but progress is slow.
Jamie Bryson, editor of Unionist Voice accused the government of “weakness” for their handling of the talks.
He told Express.co.uk: “I think the government has displayed weakness from the very start of all of this.”
Mr Bryson added that while the government is “defending the sovereignty” of Ukraine, they are allowing Northern Ireland “to be colonised by the European Union”.
Last week, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in what he claimed was an act of self-defence against NATO expansion.
Boris Johnson has offered his unwavering support for Ukraine and has imposed a number of sanctions on Russia.
In a statement to the Commons last Thursday, the Prime Minister said: “I am proud that Britain did everything within our power to help Ukraine prepare for this onslaught.
“And we will do our utmost to offer more help as our brave friends defend their homeland.”
However, Mr Bryson wants the UK government to offer the same support to Northern Ireland.
He said that the UK has not stood up to the EU and the Irish government and has “capitulated to Irish land grab”.
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He said: “The UK government is defending the sovereignty of Ukraine, meanwhile, it is allowing Northern Ireland to be colonised by the European Union and essentially allowing an Irish government land grab of our country.
“The United Kingdom hasn’t stood up to that type of aggression from the Irish government and the European Union.
“The British government actually capitulated to it and rewarded those that threatened violence and aggression.
“So perhaps If it would take such a strong stance on sovereignty in relation to Northern Ireland as it is in relation to Ukraine that would be very welcome. “
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