The Northern Ireland Protocol exists to manage the consequences of the Brexit the Prime Minister chose, avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and keep trade flowing as smoothly as possible across the United Kingdom. The Government must not provoke more acrimony and instability in Northern Ireland. Instead we need to see solutions, honesty, and leadership.

In the coming days, it is essential the EU and UK work together to find pragmatic solutions and ease tensions. We are seeing more disruption than is necessary because of the Government’s repeated dishonesty and denialism about what their Brexit would mean – this robbed businesses of the time they needed to prepare for the changes that were coming and it has led to supply chains being broken or seriously diverted.

The only way to resolve the issues on trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is for the whole of the UK to uphold high, common standards particularly on issues like animal health and environmental standards.  It is the threat of British divergence from EU standards that is causing the issues at checks.

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