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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson says action on Protocol needed to restore powersharing ahead of PM visit


Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said that action not words on the Protocol is needed to “restore consensus” for powersharing in Northern Ireland.

He added that unionism has been “both reasonable and patient” awaiting this action and that the problems must be dealt with “and then move forward on that basis”.

The DUP leader said in a statement that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Northern Ireland on Monday is a “recognition that the Protocol is not working and is harmful to Northern Ireland”.

“Those problems must be addressed,” he added.

“We await to hear what the Prime Minister has to say, but we will not make judgements based on words. It is decisive action that must be taken. The problems have been clearly identified and I have set out seven tests against which action will be judged,” said Mr Donaldson.

“Until that action is taken, the consensus necessary for powersharing in Northern Ireland does not exist.

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“We respect the mandate received by other parties, but equally they must recognise the clear view expressed by the unionist electorate,” he added.

“We have been waiting a long time for this moment and unionism has been both reasonable and patient.

“Were the situation reversed, no one would seriously argue that it would be sustainable for nationalist concerns to be ignored. We must deal with the problems that exist, restore consensus and then move forward on that basis.”

The Prime Minister is set to hold talks with the main Stormont parties on Monday in a bid to get powersharing restored.

It is understood that Mr Johnson believes the row around the Protocol can be settled and government proposals to alter the post-Brexit arrangement are expected to be announced in the next coming days.

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