Prime Minister should visit Northern Ireland as soon as possible to hear full spectrum of views on Protocol, says Farry

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak should visit Northern Ireland as soon as possible in order to hear the full spectrum of views from political and business leaders on the Protocol, Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP has said.

Stephen Farry Protocol

The North Down MP was speaking after encouraging Mr Sunak to do so at Prime Minister’s Questions, during which he also expressed his concern at the slow rate of progress in the current UK-EU negotiations around the Protocol.

“Most people and businesses recognise the need for the Northern Ireland Protocol, and want pragmatic solutions to the various challenges reached via mutual agreement,” said Dr Farry.

“While the mood music between the UK and EU has clearly improved in recent weeks, there has been little actual progress in the negotiations. In particular, the UK Government needs to clarify where it wants to go in reaching workable outcomes. 

“There is growing concern and indeed frustration at the slow pace of progress. I have pushed the Prime Minister to urgently inject some momentum into the talks. This is crucial to give the business community confidence, and to help restore our political institutions, especially in light of the January 19 deadline. 

“To this end, I have encouraged the Prime Minister to visit Northern Ireland as soon as possible, preferably before Christmas, to hear first-hand the views of local political and business leaders. So far, Rishi Sunak has only briefly visited here during the summer Conservative Leadership contest. He needs to officially come here as Prime Minister.”