KATE HOEY warns that unless Article 16 of the Brexit treaty is invoked NOW, Northern Ireland would be lost.
We’ll find out in Manchester over the next several days whether the Conservative Party can truly call itself the Conservative and Unionist Party.
The Prime Minister and Lord Frost have a limited amount of time to put their beautiful words about how the Protocol is harming Northern Ireland into action. Lord Frost will speak to the Conference early Monday morning, but it is expected that any announcement to invoke Article 16 of the Protocol (the clause that allows either side to do so if the other is causing economic, societal, or environmental harm) will be made by the Prime Minister himself during his speech. A historic fringe gathering will take place Monday at lunchtime, when all three Unionist Party leaders in Northern Ireland, as well as the architect of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, Lord Trimble, and myself, will appear on a united anti-Protocol platform.
The fact that the three leaders, who disagree on many other topics, have come together in this way should send a message to the Prime Minister that soft words are no longer acceptable.
The Protocol or the continuation of the devolved administration at Stormont are the options available to the government.
The situation cannot be allowed to continue, as Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Jim Allister, the head of the Traditional Unionist Party, have stated.
Grace periods merely serve to prolong the uncertainty while benefiting the Irish economy.
People in Northern Ireland have had enough of the European Union’s blatant and deliberate over-the-top application of checks and bureaucracy, and tinkering with the Protocol is not acceptable.
But the final issue for me and the pro-Union community is that our position in the UK has been diminished, and the people of Northern Ireland have refused to accept that we should be subject to EU rules and their court.
As a result, the only acceptable alternative is to replace the Protocol with arrangements that fully restore Northern Ireland’s status as a member of the United Kingdom.
The Protocol came about as a result of Theresa May caving in to the demand that there be no border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, despite the fact that it is the boundary between the two. “Brinkwire News Summary.”