Jeffrey Donaldson: EU using Northern Ireland as Brexit 'whipping boy'

4 October 2021, 20:02

By Seán Hickey

The DUP leader claims the Northern Ireland protocol is being weaponised by the EU to 'undermine political stability' in the UK.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP joined Iain Dale from the Conservative party conference to discuss tension from within loyalist communities in Northern Ireland over the NI protocol.

The leader of the DUP told LBC that the Northern Ireland protocol is "harming Northern Ireland's place within the United Kingdom" and revealed that Boris Johnson has promised action on the matter in a private meeting.

Read more: DUP leader: Northern Ireland being used to 'punish the UK' for Brexit

"I expect the UK government to take the action they indicated…and restore Northern Ireland’s place within the UK internal market."

Iain Dale told Sir Jeffrey that in a conversation with Michel Barnier on LBC, the EU's former Brexit negotiator refuted claims that the EU "had weaponised Northern Ireland."

Read more: Brexit could happen elsewhere in Europe, suggests ex-EU negotiator Michel Barnier

Read more: DUP instil hatred and division in Northern Ireland, caller insists

"There is no doubt the EU have used Northern Ireland as a whipping boy to punish the UK for leaving the European Union" Sir Jeffrey insisted.

"It is wrong that within the United Kingdom we now have a customs border separating one part of the UK from the rest of the UK" he told Iain, adding "that is a problem the UK government needs to resolve."

Read more: 'If you're a Unionist in Northern Ireland, you feel duped by the PM'

Iain was sceptical of Mr Donaldson's demands: "They’re not actually going to go back to square one and abolish it and start again, are they?"

Enoch Powell's former adviser insisted the UK and EU must replace the protocol "with arrangements that respect Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom"

"It is not sustainable to undermine the economic and political integrity of the United Kingdom", he concluded, telling Iain that the NI protocol "undermines both our economies and undermines political stability."

Read more: LBC listeners branded this call on Northern Ireland 'brilliant' and 'insightful'