Maintaining and operating the Irish Protocol is essential to support business and other sectors of our economy and solutions must be found to allow that to happen.
That is the message I made clear at the meeting with the European Commission's Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, British Minister Michael Gove and Arlene Foster.
It's not perfect but it does protect the Good Friday Agreement, the all-Ireland economy and allows us continued access to a marketplace of 450 million people and avoid the chaos a hard border would have brought.
The parties which formed the Executive a year ago did so in order to provide both political leadership, stability and to confront the challenges facing people in their daily lives.
Dealing with Brexit is, alongside Covid, one of the most critical challenges we face.
Those who campaigned and championed the cause of Brexit both here, and in Britain, must own the consequences.
The DUP and Tories must shoulder their responsibility for the key role they have played in this self-serving and self-defeating strategy, against the wishes of a majority of voters in the North.
While no Assembly party gave its support to the Withdrawal Agreement, and since the DUP sabotaged Theresa May's Irish 'Backstop', the Protocol represents a compromise painstakingly negotiated by the European Union and the British Government.
It was four years in the making. It did not suddenly appear on January 1.
It must be faithfully operated with least disruption, and in a legally operable way which complies with the EU/BG agreement.
It should not be used as a pawn by any party to the Agreement, or those who oppose it.
The EU action in triggering Article 16 on Friday caused justified anger and very strong criticism from Sinn Féin and others and we welcome the fact that the European Commission reversed this appalling decision hours later.
The Executive is united in condemning any and all threats made against workers and staff going about their jobs at local ports.
The police must provide reassurance to these public servants that they can safely do their jobs free from fear or intimidation.
The DUP and other unionists have publicised plans which offer no solutions.
At the meeting I made it clear that what our business sector needs now is certainty, not rhetoric and hysteria.
I welcome the commitment from Maroš Šefčovič to go to London next week and work to iron out the remaining kinks and hope that it will lead to the full implementation of the protocol.
Ireland North and South needs to work together to maintain the protocol and the protections it gives us.
Now is the time for calm, mature and responsible political leadership.