DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson delivered his blunt message to the Foreign Secretary after EU chief negotiator Maros Sefcovic claimed the UK has “breached a great deal of trust” with its stance over the mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland. Unionist critics claim the Protocol has in effect imposed a border down the Irish Sea because it keeps Northern Ireland in the bloc’s single market for goods.
Mr Donaldson said: “We need a clear date now. We need a clear timeline in which there is an expectation of real progress or the Government takes the action that is necessary.
“It is crucial that Liz Truss moves this process forward quickly and that we get real and meaningful progress on a range of issues, not least of which is removing the checks on the movement of goods within the UK internal market.”
He avoided any reference to a specific date but added: “January is going to be an absolutely crucial month.
“If we don’t get rapid and decisive progress, and one side or the other is kicking the can down the road, this will have major implications for the stability of the political institutions in Northern Ireland.”
Speaking to German website Der Spiegel, European Commission vice-president Mr Sefcovic claimed the UK “broke international law” by trying to circumvent the rules, warning any decision to suspend them by triggering Article 16 would threaten “the foundation of the entire deal”.
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