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UK Government choosing wishful thinking and confrontation rather than obvious solution over Protocol, says Farry

The UK Government is choosing “wishful thinking and confrontation” rather than taking the obvious solution to issues from the Northern Ireland Protocol, Alliance MP Stephen Farry has said.

The North Down MP was speaking after the UK Government called on the EU to begin negotiations to amend the Protocol, saying the full deal should not be implemented. Dr Farry said the statement was “full of bluster and a rewriting of history”.

“The Northern Ireland Protocol is the product of the UK Government’s decisions on the nature of Brexit,” he said.

“Today’s statement and Command Paper are full of bluster and a rewriting of history. They will bring even more uncertainty and instability for businesses and the wider community. The Government is choosing more wishful thinking and confrontation with the EU rather than taking the most obvious solution available, which is a comprehensive veterinary agreement with the EU. 

“Alliance wants to achieve as many mitigations and flexibilities as possible in relation to the Protocol. These must be legally sustainable. They can be achieved within the Protocol itself or through building on the Trade and Co-operation Agreement. 

“The Secretary of State should know these outcomes require mutual trust and confidence between the UK and the EU. But the actions and behaviour of the UK Government over the past few months has been entirely counterproductive, including today’s statements and the empty threats around invoking Article 16.”