Northern Ireland parliament set to be restored after two years of post-Brexit political deadlock

Northern Ireland parliament set to be restored after two years of post-Brexit political deadlock
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 30/01/2024

- 08:02

Updated: 30/01/2024

- 08:08

The DUP has been in protracted talks with the Government since February 2022 over their boycott of Stormont

The DUP has agreed to return to power-sharing at the Northern Ireland Assembly, after two years of political deadlock following Brexit.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson last night confirmed that the party will restore the devolved assembly at Stormont if the Government passes new legislation.

The DUP has been boycotting the Northern Irish Asembly since February 2022, in protest at post-Brexit trading agreements whcih they argue has led to trade barriers between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It has been in protracted talks with the UK Government for years to come to an agreement which would restore power sharing.

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Giving a statement last night, the DUP leader said: "In February 2022, the DUP withdrew the then-First Minister as a consequence of the imposition of the Northern Ireland protocol which did not have the support of elected representatives of unionism in Northern Ireland.

"We warned that the failure to deal with the protocol, its imposition without consent and its disruptive impact on the delicate political balance was leading to an unsustainable position.

"Having taken a strong and principled stance - we were able to bring the UK government and the EU commission to negotiations.

"We have worked with the UK government in recent negotiations to ensure that moving forward, Northern Ireland has the best possible chance to tackle its short-term challenges and built longer-term prosperity within the union.

"Our goal has been to secure the conditions that allow for the return of devolved government on a sustainable basis and where it can make a real and meaningful improvement in the lives of all the people in this part of the UK."

Donaldson said his party voted "decisively" to support the deal to restore devolution, which was agreed at a meeting in Country Down last night

He said he hopes the Government will move swiftly to put in place the pledges it had made to his party.

The DUP leader said: "The officers, Assembly group, parliamentary group and the central executive of the Democratic Unionist Party have now been briefed and considered all aspects of our negotiations between the UK Government and the DUP,' he said.

"I am pleased to report that the party executive has now endorsed the proposals that I have put to them.

"There will be legislation protecting the Acts of Union, which guarantees unfettered access for Northern Ireland business to the rest of the UK."

Donaldson added: "The party has concluded that subject to the binding commitments between the DUP and the UK government being fully and faithfully delivered as agreed, including the tabling and passing of new legislative measures in Parliament, the package of measures in totality does provide a basis for our party to nominate members to the NI executive."

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