DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the party needed to see the legislation before approving the Windsor Framework.

In a statement from Washington DC, he said: “We need to see the legislation, we need to make sure what the Prime Minister says is put into law and that the safeguards are robust and workable.

“I am here to explain what the union’s position is, why we are concerned and what we need to see to ensure we have a strong, stable basis for our government in Northern Ireland.”

He continued: “What’s in this Windsor framework is inadequate. It doesn’t meet all our requirements, it doesn’t go as far as we need in terms of our testing and in terms of fully restoring North -Ireland’s place in the UK single market.

“So we have to see the legal safeguards, we have to see the legislation that ensures that the government fulfills its obligations.”

He then outlined some of the parties’ “key concerns” about the framework, including:

  • The fact that the proposals in the Windsor Framework do not sufficiently repair the damage done by the Protocol to Article 6 of the Union Act and our ability to trade with the rest of the UK.
  • The UK government committed to protecting Northern Ireland’s place in the UK single market in the New Decade New Approach deal and this remains an unfinished business. Despite the proposal to remove some trade barriers between GB and NI under the Framework, we want to see further work in this area, in line with the NDNA commitment to protect our place in the single market and our Article 6 economic rights of the laws of the union
  • The implications of the continued application of EU law without consent in Northern Ireland under the Windsor framework. For example, why should Northern Ireland companies that do not trade with the EU and only trade within the UK be required to comply with EU law? This area needs further investigation and clarification by the government
  • The Green Lane operates in the UK and handles goods from registered UK businesses that are sold in Northern Ireland and destined for end consumers. More clarity is needed on how this will work in practice and rules to ensure the free movement of goods within the UK single market
  • The proposed solution to the democratic deficit (for amended and new EU laws) in Northern Ireland – the Stormont Brake. For these proposals to really address this aspect of Northern Ireland’s democratic deficit (namely amended and new EU legislation) it must be clear that any mechanism exercised by 30 MLAs is legally enforceable and locally elected representatives of the people of Northern Ireland decide whether it should be amended. or new laws are implemented. We cannot have a situation where Northern Ireland deviates from its main market, the rest of the UK.

Referring to the party’s next steps in relation to the framework, Sir Jeffrey added: “We have already started discussions with the UK Government on a number of issues where we need further clarification and where we believe more work needs to be done become

“We will continue this commitment to ensure we get a result that works and can be weighed against our seven Tests.

“We want to return to the delicate political balance in Northern Ireland, where the views of trade unionists are valued and respected. As Northern Ireland’s largest unionist party, we have the ultimate responsibility to get the right outcome for Northern Ireland in the union for the long term.”

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