DUP 'welcomes overdue step' as Liz Truss moves to scrap parts of Northern Ireland Protocol

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he wants the Government to "protect Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market"

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DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has welcomed the "overdue step" to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced in the House of Commons today that she intends to bring forward legislation within weeks to scrap parts of the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

She added that the UK’s preference is to “reach a negotiated outcome” with the EU, while also insisting that the proposed bill is "consistent with our obligations in international law".

Speaking after Ms Truss' announcement, Sir Jeffrey told the Commons: “The statement today is a welcome if overdue step that is a significant move towards addressing the problems created by the Protocol and getting power-sharing based upon a cross-community consensus up and running again.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in the Commons today
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in the Commons today
Liz Truss speaking in the House of Commons
Liz Truss speaking in the House of Commons

“Therefore, we hope to see progress on a bill in order to deal with these matters in days and weeks, not months.

"As the legislation progresses we will take a graduated and cautious approach.

“We want to see the Irish Sea border removed and the Government honouring its commitment in the New Decade, New Approach agreement to protect Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market.

"The statement today indicates this will be covered in the legislation."

Sir Jeffrey added that “to restore unionist confidence decisive action is now needed in the form of legislation to repair the harm done by the Protocol”.

He called for “sensible arrangements” and said: “The words today are a good start.

"But the Foreign Secretary will know that it is actions that speak louder than words.

"I welcome her commitment to such decisive action in this statement.”

Ms Truss, responding to Sir Jeffrey, said: “I think it’s vitally important to restore the primacy of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement which provided for power sharing in Northern Ireland to ensure we have the consent of all communities.

“It is the Government’s priority above all else to make sure that we protect peace and stability in Northern Ireland.”