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Brexit: Arlene Foster in final call to action on NI protocol ahead of final meeting with Prime Minister | Political news

Arlene Foster urged Boris Johnson to take “action” to change Northern Ireland’s protocol, saying it was causing “real damage” to the UK union.

The protocol, which was heavily criticized by trade unionists in Northern Ireland, was signed within the framework of the European Union Brexit agreement.

He puts North Ireland in the EU customs area to preserve an open border on the island of Ireland and protect the EU single market.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with Prime Minister Arlene Foster during a visit to the Lakeland Forum vaccination center in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.  Photo date: Friday, March 12, 2021.
Boris Johnson speaks with Ms Foster in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in March

But speaking outside Downing Street before his last meeting with Boris Johnson as prime minister, Arlene Foster suggested the arrangement fueled tensions in Northern Ireland and “narrowed the middle ground”.

She praised Boris Johnson and his Brexit Minister Lord Frost but said now is the time for them to do more than release statements.

“The Prime Minister and Lord Frost listened and made some very good statements, but now we have to see action and we have to see action very soon.

“This is doing Northern Ireland real damage in terms of trade but also in terms of union, so the Prime Minister has to act, and I hope Lord Frost will come up with proposals very, very soon.”

When asked if that meant invoking Article 16 of the protocol, which allows either party to unilaterally suspend parts of the agreement, Ms Foster did not rule out that possibility.

“We have always said that when the European Commission tried to invoke Article 16 at the end of January, Europeans were very happy to do so in terms of vaccines.

Lord Frost arrives in Brussels to resume trade negotiations
Lord Frost arrives in Brussels to resume trade negotiations

“Every day the protocol is in place harming Northern Ireland more, in terms of our trading relationship with our biggest partners in Britain, and of course it is hurting the union as well.

“My real …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-20 09:13:00