From Sir Jeffrey Donaldson <[email protected]>
Subject I am strengthened in my resolve to get an outcome that is good for NI
Date November 4, 2023 7:59 AM
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we knew there was a better way.

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Good morning John

This week we were again engaged in talks with the Government. The DUP has been consistent in setting out the case that the Government has to act to undo the harm caused by the NorthernIreland Protocol and redress the political balances that have been upset.

Whilst the pro-Protocol parties namely Sinn Fein, Alliance and the SDLP would have settled for Northern Ireland having to make do with the NI Protocol arrangements, we knew there was a better way.

Sadly, some others propose that we should try to argue for change from within the structures of Government and accept our detached place from the UK internal market. Do they not realise that such a course would secure no change and would be taken and exploited as weakness without remedying the long-term problems that have brought us to this point?

I want to see outcomes and actions from the Government that restore Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom’s internal market and respect Northern Ireland’s place within the Union. I want to see Northern Ireland succeed and flourish within the Union.

Progress has only ever been made in Northern Ireland when there are arrangements which Unionists and Nationalists can support. We would never have asked Nationalists to accept the kind of arrangements North-South that we are being asked to accept between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Since the implementation of aspects of the Windsor Framework on 1st October we have witnessed ongoing problems and many of the original claims have turned out to be less than accurate.

We remain entirely focused on our aims and objectives, determined to secure further progress. Our objectives include, restoring and future-proofing in law our Article 6 rights under the Acts of Union, thus ensuring our ability to trade freely within the UK Internal Market, as well as securing further measures that will strengthen Northern Ireland’s place within the Union.

The default route for goods moving from GB to NI should be through the UK’s own internal market system. And within that system, goods should move smoothly. It is simply not right that within the UK, businesses and traders who pose no risk of criminality or smuggling or disease risk should have their goods subject to physical inspections.

There is no doubt, because of support from people like you, that we have been able to secure progress and keep to the fore the fundamental long-term issues which we must get right. I am strengthened in my resolve to get an outcome that is good for Northern Ireland and that respects the rights of Unionists as well as Nationalists.

We continue to talk to the Government and are seeking to secure our objectives.
Our party has a strong mandate to take the necessary action so that we can get the fundamentals right for the long-term.

As I reminded delegates in my conference speech a few weeks ago, this party has never been afraid to say ‘yes’ when the deal is right but equally, we won’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if we conclude that what is on offer does not adequately deal with our fundamental concerns and is not in the best long-term interests of our place in the Union.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
DUP Leader
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