DUP MP criticises EU for stringent regulations in Northern Ireland
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DUP MP Sammy Wilson has called on the UK Government to get tougher with Brussels over negotiations to iron out issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol. The DUP’s Brexit spokesman told Julia Hartley-Brewer on TalkRADIO that the EU had not been acting in good faith over trade into Northern Ireland. He demanded that the British Government demonstrate the UK was now an “independent sovereign country.”
Mr Wilson told TalkRADIO: “I mean, first of all, the political declaration actually talked about seeking alternative arrangements, the withdrawal agreement itself made it quite clear.
“If there is damage being done, an agreement could not be reached on alternative arrangements then one side or the other, was able to act unilaterally and what we have seen is rather than enter into good faith on those alternative arrangements, the EU have insisted in imposing EU regulations to the very letter of the law and beyond in Northern Ireland.
“To the point where we have got about 20 percent of all of the checks of goods coming into the EU through Northern Ireland even though we are responsible for about point 4 percent of EU trade, and that’s an indication.
“Ans the thing is there are alternative arrangements available that have been put forward.
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“The mutual recognition of each other standards for those people who do and, a very small minority of businesses actually in Northern Ireland export into the Irish Republic, 95 percent of the goods which comically votes in Northern Ireland, stay in Northern Ireland.
“Yet all of those goods, all of them are subject to EU tips.
“Now, that to me is taking a sledgehammer, which is the EU are doing simply, as you’ve said, to give us a punishment beating for daring to leave and that’s why the government has to exert its authority.
“Either we are an independent sovereign country that has gained that independence, or else we still are running cap in hand to Brussels.
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“Either because we’re afraid of taking them on or because of the threat that they have of waging a trade war with us.”
Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan has warned it is “inevitable” that Stormont will collapse if issues around the Protocol are not resolved.
“I do want the institutions to be able to keep running, to focus on those issues that matter to everybody.
“But I also accept that for any institution to operate effectively, its foundations need to be right, and at the moment, they’re not,” he told BBC Talkback.
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“That does create real challenges for the sustainability of what we’re trying to do at Stormont, because it requires collective buy-in from everyone in the community. And at the moment, it doesn’t have that.
“People can argue, well, the Protocol is a result of Brexit and Brexit was wrong.
“The reality that we need to face is, how do we make it work now?
He added: “How do we get unionists and nationalists to be bought into Stormont and delivering for people? That has been the success of the past, where everybody has felt they can be part of this process. At the moment broad swathes of unionism don’t feel that and that’s not a tenable position.”
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