Irwin slams protocol impacts

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has said urgent action to ditch the Protocol is required to remove what he termed “nonsensical” red tape and administration.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 1:10 pm

Mr Irwin, pictured, was commenting after it was brought to his attention a tool supplier based on Mainland GB has decided not to attend Balmoral Show this year as the Protocol would require him to itemise every single product he planned to bring with him. Mr Irwin said the administrative burden of such a request was simply unworkable and meant an effective bar on the supplier attending the show.

Mr Irwin said: “What an absolute scandalous situation, whereby the ridiculous and indeed nonsensical Protocol is preventing a GB based tool supplier exhibiting at our premier agricultural show event in Northern Ireland. The tool supplier has stated that the administrative burden of having to itemise hundreds of items before making the journey to Northern Ireland, is simply not possible and an administrative nightmare, meaning the trip is not economical for him.”

He added: “This shows just how burdensome and unnecessary the protocol is and as a Party we have been warning about the dangers and damage of the protocol to trade for many months and this is yet further proof of that. We remain in a so-called ‘grace period’ and it is therefore the case that if such a grace period ends, checks and administration would only get much, much worse.”

He concluded: “The time for relegating the protocol to the shredder is long since passed and the longer this economically destructive arrangement continues, then worse it will be for business. That is why the negotiations around its removal must continue and the British Government must flex its muscle towards the EU and ensure that unfettered and unhindered access to our markets is restored as soon as possible.”