Brussels (Brussels Morning) Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced yesterday that it intends to fight against the Northern Ireland Protocol, BBC reports.
DUP MP Sammy Wilson said the party would fight against the protocol “with every means we have” as he defended the decision by acting Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs, Gordon Lyons, to stop work on permanent post-Brexit border control posts.
Wilson warned on Monday that failing to undo the protocol would mean many businesses in Northern Ireland would face problems. “We will seek to use every opportunity to attack the protocol, its implications, to make sure it is destroyed”, he asserted.
He noted that “in the longer run it’s going to destroy democracy because the protocol enforces laws on NI that are not enforced on the rest of the United Kingdom”.
“When opportunities arise we will make sure we take those opportunities to undermine the protocol and to seek to change the government’s mind in its implementation”, he concluded.
Other parties disagree with the move
Other parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly disagreed, maintaining that Lyons did not have the authority to halt the work. The DUP, however, pointed out that the move was in response to problems arising from the protocol.
The border posts are required by the Brexit agreement between the UK and the EU, and are used to inspect food products from Great Britain. Temporary posts are still in operation.
The DUP is critical of post-Brexit arrangements, arguing that effectively they have created a trade border between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.
The Northern Ireland Executive discussed Lyons’ decision yesterday. He is scheduled to consult and review the situation with the Attorney General for Northern Ireland and to attend today’s meeting of the Executive.
When Lyons’ predecessor Edwin Poots sought legal advice on the plan to stop the operation of border control posts, he was advised against the move.