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Sinn Fin leader says Boris Johnson using Northern Ireland hostage in EU games | Mary Lou McDonald

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Sinn Finn leader has accused Boris Johnson of playing games with Ireland and using it as a hostage in the UK’s ongoing trade battle with the EU, ahead of the prime ministers’ visit on Monday.

Johnson will travel to Belfast on Monday for talks after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) blocked the election of a chairman in the Stormont assembly, a week after Sinn Fin led the election polls.

Johnson will hold talks with politicians in Northern Ireland, but Sinn Finn leader Mary Lou McDonald said he was working with the DUP to stop a new executive and assembly session.

Under Stormont rules, a new administration cannot be formed without the participation of the largest trade union party.

McDonald said it was part of a clash game with the EU over Northern Ireland protocol and post-Brexit trade deals.

Speaking after a meeting of the parties’ governing council, she said: He has joined the DUP to use Ireland, the north of Ireland, to use trade unionism in Ireland as a hostage in a wider game being played with the European Union.

This is definitely a shameful and absolutely unacceptable tactic and approach.

If he was not a little naive about what is happening here, it is very clear that the Conservative government in London is clashing with the DUP to stall and hinder progress, to frustrate the will of the people as expressed in the election and that, whoever who calls himself a democrat, is clearly unacceptable and clearly shy. And this case will be made to Boris Johnson.

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DUP, now Northern Ireland’s second party, opposes the protocol as it implies controls on goods passing between the UK and Northern Ireland. It allows the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic to remain open, in line with the Good Friday agreement.

However, controls have brought delays for businesses.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said a very clear message should be sent to the UK government and the EU.

On Friday, former Brexit minister David Frost joined calls to remove parts of the protocol. It is thought Secretary of State Liz Truss may announce plans for legislation next week that would not implement part of the protocol. He said the UK should not be afraid of a trade war with the EU.

McDonald said: We have been here before. The British government rejected the Brexit process and the negotiations and ratification of the protocol.

They have not acted in good faith, they have constantly threatened to act, and they have acted unilaterally.

Let us be clear, the protocol is not going anywhere, the protocol is a necessary conclusion of Brexit, for which the conservative party and the DUP campaigned.

The British government can not use Ireland as a hostage, we will not be collateral damage in the Brexit negotiations.

The DUP had a bad night in the election, losing three seats and its refusal to elect a speaker was criticized by Sinn Fins leader in Northern Ireland Michelle ONEill. The previous executive was ousted due to the resignation of the first minister, DUP politician Paul Givan, in February.

She added: The British government has assisted the DUP in blocking tactics and this must be stopped. Of course, when we meet Mr. Johnson on Monday, we will make that clear to him.

Sources

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2/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/14/sinn-fein-leader-says-boris-johnson-using-northern-ireland-as-pawn-in-games-with-eu

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