Ireland’s Democratic Party leader warns against new checks at ports

Ireland: The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Jeffrey Donaldson said that in the future Democratic Party leader ministers would seek to block any additional checks at the ports in Northern Ireland that arise from the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Donaldson made the statement on Thursday during a speech as European Commission (EU) Vice-President Maros Sefcovic started a multiple-day visit to Northern Ireland for talks on the protocol by engaging with business, civil society and political representatives. Northern Ireland is at the centre of the post-Brexit trade dispute between Britain and the European Union.

As part of the Brexit deal, the Northern Ireland Protocol stipulates that Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market and customs union to avoid a hard border between the region and the Republic of Ireland. However, this leads to a new "regulatory" border between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Donaldson said he would provide a window of prospect for solutions to be found, warning that the time frame for resolving issues can be measured in the weeks, not months or years. He added, "Regardless of what the position of the UK government or of the EU, in the future the DUP ministers would seek to block any additional checks at the ports in Northern Ireland that arise from the Northern Ireland Protocol."

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