Sinn Féin National Chairperson and Junior Minister Declan Kearney MLA has said there is no credible alternative to the Protocol.
Declan Kearney said:
“The European Commission has been steadfast in its determination to protect the Good Friday Agreement and its commitment to the Protocol and its implementation.
“Tomorrow I expect that European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič will reiterate this consistent position during the Executive Office committee tomorrow, and also to reassert his continued support for pragmatic implementation of the Protocol.
“We have been told repeatedly by farmers, manufacturers, retailers and traders that they need the protections provided by the Protocol, and that they want to see it implemented smoothly and in full to provide them with the stability they want. This will establish a strategic platform from which to have ongoing access to the Single European Market.
“That will be the perspective Sinn Féin intends to share with Maroš Šefčovič at the committee tomorrow.
“The DUP does not speak for the north on Brexit and the protocol.
“The hard Brexit sought by the DUP has made the Protocol essential, and there is no credible alternative to it, which can provide the certainty and stability needed by our business community and others.
“Both the European Commission and the US administration fully understand that reality; so it’s long past time for the British government to accept it, end the continuous prevarication, and get on with implementing the protocol it actually negotiated.
“Once it does so we can start maximising the special status which the Protocol affords the north, to attract jobs and investment and to mitigate the damage caused by Brexit.”