EU 'playing fast and loose' with peace in Northern Ireland, ex-DUP leader warns

17 May 2022, 22:15

Poots takes aim at EU for NI Protocol

By Seán Hickey

The European Union's reluctance to make changes to the Northern Ireland protocol is threatening political stability, the former DUP leader says.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced plans in the House of Commons to suspend parts of the Northern Ireland protocol if no agreement can be reached with the European Union.

The EU have warned against taking such unilateral action, with fears a trade war could result.

Iain Dale was joined live from Belfast by the former leader of the DUP Edwin Poots to reflect on the move. He argued that the Foreign Secretary's decision has been motivated by a lack of action from Brussels.

Read more: Plans to tear up NI post-Brexit deal 'won't get through Lords', says former justice sec

"The response from the European Union to what the UK government has proposed should not be a threatening response, we're really tired of hearing threats from the European Union," he said.

Iain took exception to Mr Poots: "It's the UK government that's threatening the European Commission, isn't it?"

The DUP MLA stood firm: "We're really tired of threats coming against the United Kingdom and against the Northern Ireland peace process."

Read more: DUP 'sends message to EU' as it blocks formation of NI Assembly over Brexit deal

Read more: Boris Johnson 'wasn't even aware' of Stormont electoral process, NI politician claims

LBC caller grills Brandon Lewis on whether UK knowingly signed away NI

"They're playing fast and loose with the peace process in Northern Ireland with their attitude."

He went on: "Their attitude is you can't have a border on the island of Ireland, but you can have a border in the Irish Sea. That's unacceptable"

"I don't know of any country where there's a trade barrier or border between one part of a country and another", he said, drawing similarities with seamless trade between US states divided by sea or by other countries.

"It's unconscionable that this would happen in this United Kingdom."