NI Protocol should be ‘removed as a matter of urgency’ says UUP after meeing with businesses
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More than 60 local businesses took part expressing problems they are encountering and how they feel these issues could be addressed easily.
Hosted by Upper Bann MLA hosted by Doug Beattie MLA, he said: “The UUP believe that these are not teething problems. The entire Protocol is fundamentally flawed, and we want to see it removed as a matter of urgency. That is why we have launched a paper with practical solutions to help businesses in the coming weeks.
“The operation of the NI Protocol has frustrated the Great Britain to NI supply chain. Just weeks after the Protocol has come into operation, we are seeing a decrease in the availability of certain products on our shelves, increased prices, some companies opting out of supplying to NI altogether and hauliers are crying out for solutions to be found to barriers they are facing.
“We can’t just sit back and let the businesses in NI be the price that must be paid for the delivery of Brexit for GB. Now is the time for all political parties to join together to call on both the EU Commission and UK government to replace the Protocol with something that will actually work for the people of NI.”
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Cllr Julie Flaherty said: “We have many new and long-established successful business across our council borough and, as political representatives, we wanted to engage with them and offer our support. We view the NI Protocol as a direct challenge to the Belfast Agreement and have repeatedly raised our concerns.
“This is an issue that goes far beyond symbolism or identity. We are seeing the real time effects of what is proving to be an unworkable policy.
“It is important to recognise that the problems being faced by many in the GB to NI supply chain are at a time when COVID-19 restrictions are in place which is masking the true scale of what the problems will be,” said Cllr Flaherty.
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