Sinn Féin MLA and junior minister Declan Kearney has said the protocol must be fully implemented to give businesses certainty and stability.
Speaking after today’s High Court judgement dismissing the challenge to the lawfulness of the Protocol, Declan Kearney said:
“I note today’s judgement in the High Court rejecting attempts to overturn the protocol.
“It’s ironic that the Tory/DUP cheerleaders of Brexit are now so opposed to the protocol that was made necessary by their reckless pursuit of a hard Brexit.
“There is no credible alternative to the protocol.
“The majority of MLAs, businesses and people across society want it to work.
“Today’s announcement by the EU on chilled meats provides temporary relief and is to be welcomed.
“On the wider issues which the Brexit Joint Committee have been working through since February, I am encouraged by the progress made.
“It’s time now to move on and maximise the special status that the protocol brings to create jobs and attract investment.
“This is part of an international agreement, negotiated between the British government and the European Union. It is now also integral to British and European law. So, it’s long past time to end the continuous prevarication and honour the agreement that was made.
“The Tory government has been playing local unionist politicians as pawns in its sham fight with the EU over narrow English sovereignty issues. Political unionists should finally accept the Protocol is here to stay as a direct consequence of Brexit.
“The political focus now needs to shift onto the real-world priorities of making the Protocol work smoothly. This would give our manufacturing, food processing and other businesses the certainty and stability they require to take advantage of the dual market access now available to them to create jobs, increase exports and strengthen the economy.”