Alliance continues to find solutions to DUP Brexit mess

Alliance MLA John Blair has said Minister Gordon Lyons continues to put party politics before the safety of staff, as he continues to facilitate the Brexit mess the DUP has made.

Speaking after officials again had to appear before the AERA Committee following unilateral action by a Minister, Mr Blair said it was long past the time the Minister and the DUP recognise the work others are undertaking to make the protocol a success for everyone in Northern Ireland.

He added: “From standing down staff at the Ports, to halting construction on Brexit check posts, DUP Ministers have shown they are nothing but pawns for their party.

“We have all been aware for some time what the impact a hard Brexit would have on Northern Ireland – which it now seems the DUP are only catching on to. Yet the Minister would rather continue with these political stunts – stunts he may well have to walk back from – than even give serious consideration to other avenues forward.

“Alliance continues to lead demands for a UK-EU Veterinary Agreement, both within the Assembly and at Westminster, which would go a long way in addressing the volume of checks and make the application of the protocol much less stark.

“Sadly, along with failing to engage with the relevant sector organisations, this Minister has now left himself in an isolated position. He needs to change his attitude and start to work with those of us who recognise the benefits the UK-EU Veterinary Agreement could make.”