Carla Lockhart MP
DUP MP Carla Lockhart has said that while the Government continue to make the right noises in relation to the need to address the failings of the Northern Ireland Protocol, only decisive and radical action will bring about the new way forward needed to meet the DUPs seven tests.
Carla Lockhart said:
“The acknowledgement over recent weeks that the current arrangements are failing the people of Northern Ireland is welcome. It is a long way from the position of the EU only a short time ago, when it said their was no space for renegotiation, that the solution was to be found in rigorous implementation of the Protocol, and that the fact that unionism was united against the Protocol was irrelevant. I pay tribute to my Party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who in working with Unionists across the board has helped bring about this change in mindset. It is an example of what can be achieved when unionism works together.
"Of course while this is progress, what we need now is action. This week we will see the Government and the EU set out their proposals. This will be a key test of whether they realise just how serious this situation is.
"While the Government do seem determined to make progress, sadly, by the utterances of Simon Coveney in recent days, it would seem that the Irish Republic seem intent on being an obstacle to progress. Such an approach is in no ones interests. It raises the prospect of further political instability, and will further damage relations between Unionism and the Irish Government – relations that are already at their lowest point in decades.
"The DUP want this issue settled. We have seven tests by which any new approach will be judged. All seven must be met, or the UK and EU will have failed the people of Northern Ireland. Actions, not words, are needed and my hope is that a resolution can be found soon with our deadline for agreement fast approaching.”