Northern Ireland news

DUP document outlines protocol problems and warns of future issues unless Irish Sea border is removed

Jeffrey Donaldson has highlighted problems with the protocol and made new claims about future issues in a new DUP document. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Paul Ainsworth

THE DUP has warned the "worst is still to come" regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol in a new document outlining arguments against the Irish Sea border.

The party has published the document, titled Time to Remove the NI Protocol, in a bid to outline ways it claims the protocol - part of the UK's Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the EU - has "wrecked political instability" in the north.

It comes as the British government prepares for the second reading at Westminster of its bill to override parts of the protocol.

Along with explaining how the protocol "is a threat to the union" and "lacks cross-community consent", the DUP document also contains case studies featuring businesses that have been impacted by the Irish Sea border which effectively keeps the north in the EU's single market for goods.

Some firms included have since expressed concern over not being consulted about their inclusion, Manufacturing NI has claimed.

The DUP publication follows recent findings by FactCheckNI that claims about the protocol made by DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson, MP Ian Paisley, and Orange Order grand secretary Mervyn Gibson were unfounded or exaggerated.

Warning that the full effects of the protocol have yet to be felt due to the extension of post-Brexit grace periods by the UK, the document states future issues to come include rules on pets travelling between Britain and the north, such as requirements for health certificates, rabies vaccinations and ID checks, and a ban on certain items being marketed in the north due to EU regulations.

It also warns that travellers crossing the Irish sea could face luggage checks for banned products of animal origin.

"All we want is the protocol replaced by arrangements that restore our place within the United Kingdom and can command the support of unionists as well as nationalists. That is not an unreasonable request," it states.

"Free and unfettered trade within the United Kingdom is not an excessive demand, it is the right of every citizen."

The document's case studies include details of firms that have encountered 'protocol problems' relating to trade with Britain.

However, the Manufacturing NI group has said some companies featured in the document are "unhappy" with being used in examples.

Manufacturing NI head Stephen Kelly told The Irish News: "We have had a few calls today from companies who have expressed concerns that they were not consulted about being included and are not impressed about being brought into the political field in this way. We have recommended they contact the DUP directly about this."

The Irish News contacted the DUP for comment last night.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news