Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has said that the DUP are picking and choosing what aspects of the Protocol suit them and that their refusal to form an Executive has punished ordinary workers and families.
“There has now been a lack of Executive for six months due to the DUP maintaining that the Protocol needs to be scrapped in its entirety.
“Now, Edwin Poots is lobbying to amend the Tory Protocol Bill to protect parts of the Protocol because of its benefits for farmers, despite apparently being a fierce critic of it.
“The DUP originally welcomed the Protocol as a gateway of opportunity and then detoured on their stance after seeing opinion polls. Edwin Poots himself was Minister in the department implementing border control checks for over a year before trying to halt them.
“The DUP do not know where to stand regarding the Protocol.
“To ensure people are protected from the worst impacts of Brexit, we need a negotiated settlement between the EU and British government on the Protocol. The DUP’s boycott of the Executive has not achieved that, it has only punished our constituents who voted for us in May.
“They have now held up the energy support payment and prevented investment in our health service. Issues very close to home for some of my constituents in Upper Bann, and which have caused a lot of frustration.
“The DUP should get back to work now and sit around the table with the rest of us to help ordinary workers and families through this tough time.”