Any unilateral move to scrap parts of Protocol would be counterproductive, says Farry

Stephen Farry Protocol Legacy

Any unilateral move to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol would be wholly counterproductive, Alliance MP Stephen Farry has said.

The North Down MP was speaking after the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the Government’s legislative programme for the forthcoming year. Dr Farry said it showed the “weakness” and “growing authoritarianism” of the Government.

“This programme continues to illustrate this Government’s weakness on providing economic opportunities, addressing inequalities and tackling climate change. With Bills to undermine human rights including the right to protest, it further demonstrates the growing authoritarianism of the Government.,” he said.

“Any unilateral move to scrap parts of the Protocol would be wholly counterproductive. The Government needs to abandon the vicious cycle of spin and briefings on this. We need mutually agreed, sustainable and legal solutions to the challenges posed. Building trust not more confrontation is the key ingredient. Northern Ireland must not be a plaything for the internal politics of the Conservative Party.

“Alliance’s preference is for the Assembly to implement the language and cultural commitments from New Decade, New Approach. This hasn’t occurred despite ample opportunities to do so, and there is no sign of it happening soon. It is with reluctance we support Westminster doing so.

“With regard to legacy, we remain committed to the Stormont House model. The revised Government proposals have not been co-designed with Northern Ireland political parties and in particular victims’ groups. There is no basis for even qualified immunity and it is hard to see how the proposed way forward is compliant with Article 2 of the ECHR.”