Arlene Foster has urged Boris Johnson to take “motion” to alter the Northern Eire protocol, saying it’s doing “actual injury” to the union of the UK.
The protocol, which has been closely criticised by unionists in Northern Eire, was signed as a part of the UK-EU Brexit deal.
It locations Northern Eire within the EU customs space to protect an open border on the island of Eire and shield the EU’s single market.
However talking exterior Downing Avenue forward of her final assembly with Boris Johnson as first minister, Arlene Foster prompt the association was fuelling tensions in Northern Eire and “narrowing the frequent floor”.
She praised Boris Johnson and his Brexit Minister Lord Frost, however stated the time had come for them to do greater than concern statements.
“Each the PM and Lord Frost have been listening and have been placing out some superb statements, however now we have to see motion and we have to see motion fairly quickly.
“That is doing actual injury to Northern Eire by way of our commerce but in addition by way of the union, so the prime minister must act, and I hope that Lord Frost will convey ahead proposals very, very quickly.”
Requested whether or not that meant invoking article 16 of the protocol, which permits both get together to unilaterally droop elements of the settlement, Ms Foster didn’t rule out that chance.
“We’ve stated all alongside that when the European Fee tried to invoke article 16 on the finish of January the Europeans have been fairly comfortable to do it by way of vaccines.
“Each day the protocol is in place does extra injury to Northern Eire, by way of our buying and selling relationship with our largest companions in Nice Britain, and naturally it does injury to the union as effectively.
“My actual concern as I transfer to go away workplace is definitely it is narrowing the frequent floor in Northern Eire – and that’s an actual concern.”
Final month Arlene Foster introduced her resignation as DUP chief and First Minister, following rising criticism inside her get together about her dealing with of the protocol.
Requested whether or not she had any regrets over backing Boris Johnson’s management of the Conservative get together and Brexit, she stated: “It’s a must to separate Brexit and the protocol – the protocol is doing the injury to Northern Eire.
“I believed in Brexit as a result of I believed we wanted to go away the EU and all of the stringent guidelines that have been there to permit us to be extra versatile and have a spot on the earth.
“But when the UK is to have a brand new place on the earth, Northern Eire should be a part of that – and at current, due to the protocol we’re not.”
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