Urgent need for UK Government to demonstrate it shares commitment on implementing Agreement and a future deal, says Long

There is an urgent need for the UK Government to to demonstrate it shares the commitment of the EU to implement fully the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and to find a comprehensive future deal, Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said.

Mrs Long was speaking after meeting Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, alongside the leaders of the other pro-Remain parties. She said it was an important meeting in which the group sought reassurances the EU would continue to uphold the Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol.

“The provocative and disruptive behaviour from the UK Government has not only placed Northern Ireland’s future planning at risk but has undermined trust in the UK as a negotiating partner, both with the EU and other nations,” said the East Belfast MLA.

“However, this is not only about business and trade – it goes to the core of our ability to co-operate on justice and security issues. For that, the future security partnership must be agreed and that requires a trade deal to be done. There is much at stake – businesses need certainty, the Executive needs clarity and people’s security needs to be protected.

“I welcomed the assurances from Simon Coveney the EU remains committed to the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol, and to finding a comprehensive future deal.

“But we now need the UK Government to demonstrate urgently it shares that commitment. The removing of Section Five of the Internal Markets Bill would be a good step in that direction. Time is short. People need to focus on delivering a deal and should now leave the theatrics to one side.”