Statement from UUP Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA

UUP Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA said:

“Like the Ulster Unionist Party the DUP are setting out their opposition to the Protocol.  Where we absolutely differ is that the UUP will provide pragmatic solutions and engagement while the DUP will provide threats leading to instability and further harming our people here in Northern Ireland.

“I certainly won’t be asking my party to withdraw from the Executive when we are still dealing with a Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences on a health service which is facing challenges on an unprecedented scale. We simply cannot afford to have the Stormont institutions collapse and people, not least those hundreds of thousands on waiting lists, won’t thank us for it.

“The Ulster Unionist Party has a different approach. We will engage constructively and put forward practical solutions as we seek to replace the Protocol. We continue to lobby rather than threaten. Unionism needs to show confidence in its own abilities. Now is not the time to retreat to the trenches.

“The UK Government’s Command Paper provides a potential pathway out of the Protocol mess and unionism should be using its influence within the democratic structures to hold the Government to account for delivering on it.”

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