DUP says it will vote against new UK-EU deal on post-Brexit trade in Northern Ireland


The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will vote against the UK government on a new deal between the UK and the EU on a post-Brexit Northern Ireland trade deal, party leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said.

The so-called Windsor Framework, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed to with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month, would significantly reduce the number of post-Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Intended to resolve disputes. Checking of goods entering Northern Ireland from the UK.

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Prime Minister Rishisnauk and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference at the Guildhall in Windsor, Berkshire, February 27, 2023. (PA media)

On Wednesday, UK MPs are expected to vote on regulations to implement so-called ‘Stormont brakes’. UK States — a move that could lead to a UK government veto.

Donaldson said on Monday that party leaders unanimously agreed to vote against the government in the first parliamentary vote on the new Brexit deal.

He said DUP members in the House of Representatives will vote against the measure in light of the party’s “continued concerns and the need to ensure further progress”.

Mr Donaldson said the Windsor Framework had shown “significant progress” in addressing concerns about the Northern Ireland Protocol, but had not addressed some of the “fundamental issues at the heart of the current difficulties”. said no.

“Despite the issues and conditions that must be met in order for the brake to work, it still remains that the brake was not designed and therefore cannot be applied to EU legislation already in force and without consent. given for its application,” he added.

A DUP leader said that “major areas of concern remain that require further clarification, rework and change, and further legal documentation needs to be reviewed.”

He said his party will “continue to work with the Government on all outstanding issues relating to the Windsor Framework Package to restore the delicate political balance within Northern Ireland and seek further progress on all these issues.” ‘ said.

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An undated photo of the Houses of Parliament (often called Stormont) in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. (Paul Face/PA)

Stormont brake

The UK government and the European Commission announced on February 27 after months of intensive negotiations aimed at reducing checks on Irish Sea trade created by the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. announced the Windsor framework on

While reducing the checks required for goods destined for use in Northern Ireland arriving from the UK, the deal also includes a new mechanism, the Stormont brake. Mr Sunak said this would put the region in a “special” position and allow Northern Irish politicians to oppose it. New EU Goods Regulations.

This ‘brake’ will provide a small number of MLAs (30 countries from at least two political parties) with the ability to communicate their concerns about the introduction of new EU legislation in Northern Ireland to the UK Government.

Governments could then potentially impede the application of these laws in the region.

Sunak also promised to amend the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to provide trade unionists with greater reassurance about the constitutional status of the region within the United Kingdom.

Some prominent DUP figures, including Lord Dodds and Members of Parliament Sammy Wilson and Ian Paisley, said the deal may not reach far enough to address their trade and sovereignty concerns. has already suggested

Mr Wilson, the DUP’s Chief of Staff in Westminster Parliament, said earlier this month: It’s a delay mechanism. “

Mr Paisley, another DUP Member of Parliament, said in an interview on Monday, “This is old material in new packaging wrapped in ribbons, but it really hasn’t been altered and Northern Ireland’s trade continues to grow.” We haven’t addressed the underlying problem of confusion in our internal UK market.”

peace treaty anniversary

Northern Ireland has not had a functioning local government in Stormont for over a year since the DUP withdrew from its power-sharing cadre in protest against the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The immediate future of power delegation in Stormont depends on the DUP agreeing to return to power sharing.

Both London and Brussels are keen to have their institutions restored ahead of next month’s landmark 25th anniversary of the peace deal on Good Friday.

Earlier Monday, Downing Street defended the government deal and stressed the importance of keeping the Good Friday deal.

An official spokesman for the prime minister said: Stormont brakes are the best of the bunch.

“Regarding EU regulations, these have been reduced to a minimum level to ensure that there are no borders on the island of Ireland.

“I think it’s a top priority for all parties in protecting and securing the Good Friday Agreement.”

Patricia Devlin and PA Media contributed to this report.