Leader of DUP calls Northern Ireland protocol 'unnecessary'
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The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) raised the stakes over the Brexit Northern Ireland border protocol on Thursday when he warned his party would walk away from power-sharing arrangements in Stormont. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson delivered a keynote speech at the La Mon hotel in Belfast, telling listeners that “as leader of the DUP, I am not prepared to lend my hand to a protocol which so fundamentally undermines the Union and the economic integrity of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland’s position in it”.
The seven tests set out to save the Brexit deal
Sir Jeffrey said Northern Ireland needed “significant and substantial changes that can meet the seven tests that we set out” to make the border protocol work.
1. Any new arrangements must fulfil the guarantee of the Sixth Article of the Act of Union.
2. Arrangements must avoid any diversion of trade.
3. Protocol must not constitute a border in the Irish Sea.
4. Plans must give the people of Northern Ireland a say in the making of laws that govern them.
5. The protocol must result in “no checks on goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain or from Great Britain to Northern Ireland (and remaining in Northern Ireland).
6. Arrangements must ensure no new regulatory borders develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
7. The plans must preserve the letter and spirit of Northern Ireland’s constitutional guarantee, as set out in numerous documents, but most recently in the Belfast Agreement by requiring the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland for, and in advance of, any diminution in its status as part of the United Kingdom.
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