Unionists link new Belfast government to changes in ‘Brexit’ protocol

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Jeffrey Donaldson-led party threatens Boris Johnson with “not proposing executive ministers” unity with Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has confirmed his party will boycott the restoration of autonomous executive power in Northern Ireland following elections in which the Sinn Féin party, traditionally associated with the IRA terrorist group, won the largest number of seats. The confirmation came after his meeting with the British Minister for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis.

“We made our position very clear to him,” explains Donaldson. “Until the UK government takes decisive action on the protocol (of ‘Brexit’), we will not propose any executive ministers.” “It is having a damaging impact on our economy, increasing the cost of living and hindering our companies’ ability to do business with Britain,” he added.

The leader of a DUP that has lost fewer seats and votes than polls predicted, concluded his warning by emphasizing that “the protocol essentially undermines our political stability and the principle of consensus that lies at the heart of our institutions.” “We need to sort this out,” Donaldson said as the elected representatives of the Belfast Assembly began their accreditation.

The expectation is now shifting to the Boris Johnson administration, who will present its legislative program on Tuesday. He will mention in the Queen’s speech the kind of initiative London will take to appease its Ulster allies. In April, the Financial Times alleged that Johnson was preparing a bill to withdraw parts of the EU’s withdrawal agreement, as it did in 2020.

Minister Lewis left a trail of confusion by stating Wednesday that he will not table a bill to change aspects of the protocol and explaining Sunday that his words were misunderstood. He later stated that “all possibilities are on the table” and that “we will do what we have to do”. In unison with the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who used almost identical expressions.

In a statement, Angela McGowan, director of the region of the Confederation of British Industry, the largest employers’ organization, did not mention the protocol. It focuses on the benefits of a collaboration between a new Executive and companies to alleviate the rise in the cost of living, improve professional skills and move towards net zero emissions.

The protocol signed by Brussels and London to enable Brexit provides that the Northern Ireland Assembly will decide by majority vote every four years on the continuity of the regulations allowing Northern Ireland to participate simultaneously in the European common market and the UK market. The elections have resulted in a division of seats that leaves the DUP and opponents of the Protocol in a minority.

The only party of significant size in Northern Ireland to call for votes to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum was the DUP. He won the vote for permanence in the region with 56% to 44%. Entrepreneurs are not alarmed by the economic effect of the protocol, while the DUP interprets the consensus required by the Good Friday Agreement as a guarantee of their veto power.

According to Newton Emerson, a Unionist commentator with “The Irish Times” in Dublin, “The DUP takes Northern Ireland’s patience for granted.” “How long can the second party in Belfast hold Home Rule on something everyone knows is an attempt to save face?” he asks. Boris Johnson will now join this mess, who insisted there would be no border controls in Northern Ireland after Brexit was signed.

Source: La Verdad

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