June 9, 2021
Implementation of the Protocol key to providing stability for business – O’Neill

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill told the Joint Committee on Brexit that the protocol is vital and implementation is key five months on since the end of the Transition period.

Michelle O’Neill said: 

“Today I took part in the Joint Committee which was chaired by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and British Brexit Minister David Frost to discuss the Protocol, which protects the Good Friday Agreement, All-Ireland economy and avoids a hard border on our island. 

“At the meeting I made it clear that for the vast majority of sectors of our economy, the Protocol has and will allow them to continue trading into the EU and British marketplaces and they want that to continue. 

“I also made it clear the DUP do not speak for the north on Brexit or the protocol, dispelling any myth that the North faces a cliff-edge.

“I stressed the reality that the majority of Assembly members, businesses and citizens here voted to oppose Brexit, that the Protocol is a consequence of Brexit, and while imperfect it does offer very real protections, but also gives the North a competitive economic advantage.

“Those who depend on the Protocol’s protections for their livelihoods and business success want to see it maintained and working, and any operational problems resolved.

“That is why we need to find longer term solutions to the outstanding issues but they will not be found in unilateral action or short extensions of grace periods.

“We need to provide a stable trading environment for our businesses where they can use the unique position the protocol affords the north to export goods and which allows the Executive and InvestNI to attract inward investment to create jobs and strengthen our economy.

“The British Government need to stop their rollback and fulfil their international treaty obligations, and work with the EU towards solutions without delay.” 

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