UK news Poots’ choice is the Union or a hard Brexit, SDLP warns last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - The new DUP leader needs to decide whether preserving the Union or an extreme Brexit are his priority, according to SDLP MP Claire Hanna.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "The new DUP leader needs to decide whether preserving the Union or an extreme Brexit are his priority, according to SDLP MP Claire Hanna. Ms Hanna was speaking after Edwin Poots spelt out his plans to oppose the Northern Ireland Protocol.Mr Poots said he will not rest until it is removed and will enter electoral pacts to help ensure that and to maximise the unionist vote in any future border poll.“I have learned over the years that we are far better to work with each other,” he said.For the first time Mr Poots conceded unionists may have to wait for four years until the Assembly can vote on whether to continue with the protocol arrangements or to have it removed completely.With a plan in place for his first 90 days in office, he said he has asked for meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Irish Government to try and resolve problems with the Brexit trade arrangements.Mr Poots said: “We will certainly be ramping things up over that period of time. I am meeting the Secretary of State and Government ministers and hope to meet the Prime Minister soon. The request is in. The protocol is by far the biggest issue. For me this is not a unionist issue. This is a Northern Ireland issue. At the end of the grace period we are looking at 15,000 checks being applied on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.“On supermarket goods and the food that ends up in your corner shop, that is going to affect every consumer in Northern Ireland. Ninety-eight per cent of our drugs and medical devices come from Great Britain. Those are going to be subject to these checks after the scrutiny period and problems with getting things in, including cancer drugs.“It is just entirely unacceptable that our health service could be hit with additional cost and, indeed, with maybe not having certain material that is needed as a consequence of it. We need to find a solution which overcomes all of this.
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. We can only achieve that if we have a unionist majority.“It’s a huge challenge to get 45 or more seats in the Assembly. If that means helping other unionists win more seats in the Assembly to help defend the Union, that is something I am prepared to do.”But Ms Hanna said “ratcheting up tension and damaging governance isn’t going to change anything”.“It remains the case that a UK-EU deal on sanitary and phytosanitary and veterinary arrangements would remove about 80% of the checks between Britain and Northern Ireland,” she said.“If the UK don’t go for that it is because they are prioritising a power they aren’t even using over the integrity of the UK.“British officials indicate that the DUP haven’t indicated support for this arrangement (though the UFU, UUP and many business leaders have).“Edwin Poots needs to decide whether the Union or an extreme Brexit is more important to his party.“That’s his choice to make, but if he refuses to advocate the obvious solution to removing frictions then he needs to stop saying that the problem is consent, cohesion or reducing tensions within Northern Ireland.“It remains the case that the options are a land border, a sea border or a softer Brexit. If the DUP reject the last two they are insisting on the first one, which is impossible both practically and politically.”Meanwhile, the only candidate for leader of the Ulster Unionist Party has said Mr Poots needs to be honest with unionism about the protocol.Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics show, Doug Beattie MLA said: “We have to start off by telling the truth. Edwin says if we can get 45 unionist MLAs we can vote the protocol away, and that’s simply not true. The reality is you can vote away Articles 5 to 10 but the protocol stays, and then we go into a two-year period where Articles 5 to 10 get replaced with something else.“We have to start this off by being as honest as we possibly can. We want rid of the protocol but we have worked really hard to try and put in alternatives and mitigations to get rid of it, but what we will not be doing is telling people out there an untruth in order to garner support"
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