DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has urged the European Union to put Northern Ireland’s interests first as the UK and EU continue negotiations.
Donaldson was speaking after the UK Government said limited progress had been made in talks between UK Brexit Minister David Frost and European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic in Brussels on Friday.
Sefcovic said he was disappointed with the UK’s unwillingness to compromise.
Frost said Article 16 is very much so on the table for the UK, but Sefcovic said such a move would have “serious consequences”.
Jeffrey Donaldson said: “They ought to recognise that the protocol and its Irish Sea Border is causing economic harm and undermining stability in Northern Ireland.”
“These negotiations cannot become a process to excuse away the real problems of the protocol nor is it acceptable for those with EU interests to now claim that a legal mechanism within the protocol – namely Article 16 cannot and should never be used.”
“The Government set out a reasonable position in its command paper and our view remains unchanged that unless the Irish Sea border goes then it will not be business as usual in Northern Ireland,” he continued.
“It is time the interests of NI were put first by the EU rather than behaving in a manner which has brought us to the brink.”
IMAGE – “File:Official portrait of Sir Jeffrey M. Donaldson crop 1.jpg” by Chris McAndrew is licensed under CC BY 3.0