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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson asks Government to outline Command Paper plan after meeting Foreign Secretary


Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has asked the UK Government to set out a plan on how it intends to “deliver imminently” its Command Paper.

Sir Jeffrey was speaking after meeting with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, ahead of the latest round of talks between the UK and the EU.

DUP MP Gavin Robinson and Lord Nigel Dodds also attended Monday’s meeting.

Sir Jeffrey has previously threatened to pull DUP ministers out of the Executive in protest to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was put in place as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

The protocol sees checks on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, as the province remains part of the EU Single Market.

After meeting with Ms Truss, Sir Jeffrey said the protocol was imposed on Northern Ireland without the support of its people.

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“A year on from its activation we have won the argument that the protocol is unworkable and damaging to Northern Ireland – even those who previously argued for its rigorous implementation accept begrudgingly that it is not working,” he stated.

“Elected representatives who support the union have set out their assessment that the NI Protocol is bad for Northern Ireland and if left unaltered will lead to the economic and constitutional divergence of Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom. This we cannot and will not accept.

“The current temporary grace periods are saving Northern Ireland from an even more immediate harmful situation.”

Sir Jeffrey said he indicated to Ms Truss that Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom internal market must be restored so that there are no checks for goods travelling from Great Britain and staying within Northern Ireland.

“That must be guaranteed by the UK Government,” he added.

“Following the meeting we have asked the Government to set out a plan of how they intend to deliver imminently on their Command Paper.

“The UK Government must also indicate a timetable as to when and how these restored arrangements for Northern Ireland will be brought about.

“For our part we will use all measures at our disposal to continue to oppose the implementation of the current arrangements flowing from the protocol and we have made it clear to the Government that we will not be implementers of protocol arrangements.”

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