Northern Ireland news

Gordon Lyons: NI Protocol 'obstructing our ability to rebuild our economy'

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

THE Northern Ireland Protocol is "obstructing our ability to rebuild our economy", the Stormont economy minister has said.

Gordon Lyons yesterday also said he believed the protocol was leaving the north confined to the "worst of all worlds".

The DUP minister's comments come a week after Paul Givan resigned as First Minister as part of the party's protest over the Protocol.

Unionists have argued that Northern Ireland's place in the UK is being undermined by the protocol as it is being treated differently from Great Britain.

DUP MP Ian Paisley also told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Wednesday that the Protocol has "zero support from unionists".

Speaking during a visit to Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone yesterday, Mr Lyons claimed the protocol was "obstructing our ability to rebuild our economy as we emerge from the pandemic".

He also said that being "separated" from the UK's internal market was having "devastating consequences".

"The current restrictions on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are simply unsustainable," he said.

"We want Northern Ireland to have the best of both worlds, able to trade freely with the rest of the United Kingdom and the European Union

"But the Northern Ireland Protocol does not offer the best of both worlds, it confines Northern Ireland to the worst of all worlds."

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