Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill said tonight that the Protocol prevents a hard border on the island of Ireland, to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the all-island economy.
And she accused the British government of acting duplicitously in negotiations with the EU as it attempts to tear up yet another international agreement.
Michelle O’Neill said:
“Brexit was imposed on the people of the north against the democratically expressed will of the 56 per cent here who voted to remain in the EU.
“Throughout this process Boris Johnson’s Tory government has shown no regard for the people of the north.
“The Protocol in the international treaty between the EU and the British government recognises the special status of this island, and its implementation is not negotiable.
“It avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland, safeguards the all-Ireland economy and the Good Friday Agreement.
“The majority of people in the north and parties in the Assembly support the Protocol and we won’t be dragged backwards.
“The Protocol affords our businesses, our manufacturers, retailers and farmers the opportunities of access to the British and the EU Single Market.
“The attempts by the Tories and the DUP to undermine the protections and opportunities of the Protocol and impose a hard border must be opposed.
“The conduct of the British government throughout these negotiations has been duplicitous and disgraceful and is an effort to break yet another international agreement.
“Tomorrow, the EU will publish practical proposals to give further certainty to local businesses to maximise the opportunities to create jobs and investment.
“That’s what businesses want and that what’s the majority of the people of the north want.”