EU 'playing fast and loose' with peace in Northern Ireland, ex-DUP leader warns

17 May 2022, 22:15

By Seán Hickey

The European Union's reluctance to make changes to the Northern Ireland protocol is threatening political stability, the former DUP leader says.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced plans in the House of Commons to suspend parts of the Northern Ireland protocol if no agreement can be reached with the European Union.

The EU have warned against taking such unilateral action, with fears a trade war could result.

Iain Dale was joined live from Belfast by the former leader of the DUP Edwin Poots to reflect on the move. He argued that the Foreign Secretary's decision has been motivated by a lack of action from Brussels.

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"The response from the European Union to what the UK government has proposed should not be a threatening response, we're really tired of hearing threats from the European Union," he said.

Iain took exception to Mr Poots: "It's the UK government that's threatening the European Commission, isn't it?"

The DUP MLA stood firm: "We're really tired of threats coming against the United Kingdom and against the Northern Ireland peace process."

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"They're playing fast and loose with the peace process in Northern Ireland with their attitude."

He went on: "Their attitude is you can't have a border on the island of Ireland, but you can have a border in the Irish Sea. That's unacceptable"

"I don't know of any country where there's a trade barrier or border between one part of a country and another", he said, drawing similarities with seamless trade between US states divided by sea or by other countries.

"It's unconscionable that this would happen in this United Kingdom."