Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP, has spoken out after the Government released a statement of its intention to unilaterally rewrite parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis, wrote that the UK would unilaterally extend grace periods on full enforcement of EU customs requirements, contradicting what was negotiated in the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The Liberal Democrats and our friends in the Alliance Party strongly support a renewed grace period on goods but this needs to come in collaboration with our trade partners, not inciting conflict. We need to be looking at long-term measures like SPS and veterinary alignment to smooth out the worst of the disruption – so that businesses across the UK can have confidence in their trading future.
“There are real problems people are facing in Northern Ireland as a result of the Government’s agreement with the EU, but they are problems of this Government’s making. There is no long-term solution to be found in unilaterally throwing out parts of an agreement that the Government entered into willingly.”
“It has to be said that this latest mess the Government is creating is a result of their inability to be straight about the reality of their deal. Boris Johnson is very good at singlehandedly creating chaos – he falls down when it comes to working with others for the good of the people of Northern Ireland.”