Home U.K ‘Left in a state of limbo’ Sinn Fein leader fears the worst...

‘Left in a state of limbo’ Sinn Fein leader fears the worst over NI protocol disagreement


Ms McDonald branded recent reports that Boris Johnson will unilaterally undermine the Northern Ireland protocol as “high-handed” and “cavalier”. She said the UK Government should “let people in Northern Ireland get on with it” and not let them become the “collateral damage for Britain’s Brexit.” 

The Sinn Fein leader said: “I fear in the first instance that we are left in a state of limbo in the north of Ireland. 

“The peace process has taken considerable investment by everyone involved and I don’t think it should be thrown away, disrupted or damaged in such a high-handed, cavalier fashion. 

“There would, I believe, be a response from Europe if it is a thing that the British Government insists and moves ahead unilaterally. 

“I’m not going to speculate and I’m not going to add flames to what is already a very difficult situation.

“But I think Boris Johnson and his Government are fully aware of circumstances where a Government steps outside international law and acts in bad faith. 

“Of course there will be a response to that. I would urge and I would appeal, even at this stage, for good sense, for common sense, for responsible politics to prevail. 

“Competent politics, as well, where a Government has an issue and wishes to see a number of issues addressed, has the competence and good faith to actually employ the channels that are available. 

“And then let people in Northern Ireland get on with it, have a Government and make the progress that we are entitled to anticipate in our society. 

“I’ve said all along, we can’t be the collateral damage for Britain’s Brexit.” 

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The European Union’s ambassador in the UK warned today that threats to rewrite part of the Brexit deal over the NI protocol would result in retaliation from Brussels. 

Joao Vale de Almeida said there was no room for reopening negotiations on the protocol and warned that “action calls for reaction” if the UK did unilaterally tear up parts of the deal.

The ambassador said: “It’s not very reassuring if you go into a negotiation where you are presented with two options – either renegotiation or unilateral action to override the treaty.

“This is not the best way to fix, this is rather a way maybe to nix.

“So if we want to fix it, which is what we want and I understand this is what the Government wants as well, we need to create a better atmosphere.”

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He added: “Unilateral calls for unilateral. Action calls for reaction. And is that what we want, an escalation around Northern Ireland at this present point in time? I don’t think so.”

Irish premier Micheal Martin will hold talks with political leaders in Northern Ireland on Friday over the ongoing deadlock at Stormont over the protocol.

The Democratic Unionist Party is currently blocking the re-establishment of Stormont’s powersharing institutions in protest. 

Ahead of his meeting with the Irish premier, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, insisted operation of the Stormont institutions would not have the consent of unionism while the protocol remained in place.

He said: “Powersharing only works with the consent of unionists and nationalists.

“For two and half years every unionist MLA and MP in Northern Ireland has been voicing opposition to the protocol. There must be new arrangements if we are to move forward.”

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