Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd said ‘reckless threats’ by the Tories to trigger Article 16 would be disastrous for the local economy.
He also called on the DUP and Tories to ‘step back from the brink’ and for the Joint Committee to be urgently convened.
The Upper Bann spokesperson said:
“Both the Tories and the DUP are engaged in the worst type of toxic politics, and all at the expense of workers and families, businesses, manufacturers and the agri-food sector in the north.
“The DUP in particular, has been dishonest and deceitful with its own electoral base. Once again, the bread-and-butter interests of unionist business and working people are being trumped by orange card politics.
“Their demand to trigger Article 16 would be disastrous for the regional economy.
“The north’s insulation from the worst effects of Brexit will be lost. The increased foreign direct investment interest and inquiries in this region because the Protocol is in place, will come to an end. And the growing dual market access opportunities for local businesses will evaporate.
“The DUP is acting against the wishes of the majority of citizens in the north who voted against Brexit, and who do not share the hysterical assessment of the Protocol which it, and others in political unionism are trying to portray.
“The achievements of the political process, the success of the all-island economy, and the very basis of the Good Friday Agreement are being endangered by this Tory and DUP wreckers’ agenda.
“So, both the Tories and DUP need to step back from the brink. There is no credible alternative to the Protocol. They know this to be true.
“It was negotiated into the Withdrawal Agreement by both the EU and British government as an agreed mechanism to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland; to protect the Good Friday Agreement; and, to avoid damage to the island economy.”
It was notable when Michelle O’Neill met David Frost last Tuesday, he pushed back against our party’s suggestion to call a meeting of the Joint Committee.
“This was further evidence of the Tory approach being defined by irresponsible right wing English nationalism, rather than a desire to find sensible solutions.”