The Ulster Unionist Party’s Finance Spokesperson, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, has urged the UK Government and the EU to include local political parties in the negotiations aimed at finding a deal to resolve the long-standing issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Steve Aiken said:
“The announcement today that talks around resolving the protocol are to be resumed is to be welcomed.
“That both the EU and the United Kingdom recognise that the current impasse has undermined the Belfast Good Friday Agreement is a recognition of reality.
“The Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and EU Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič should now take the opportunity to involve key Northern Ireland stakeholders in these discussions.
“At the bare minimum those political parties who are entitled to form an Executive – and who will have to implement whatever is agreed – should be at the table.
“There is a short window to achieve an agreed solution. It is time to get a deal; one that puts the interests of Northern Ireland first and ensures that goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and which will remain in Northern Ireland, are not subject to restrictions, thereby respecting the UK single market.”