Politics

Sinn Féin leader says Boris Johnson using Northern Ireland as ‘pawn’ in games with EU | Mary Lou McDonald

The leader of Sinn Féin has accused Boris Johnson of taking part in games with Ireland and using it as a “pawn” in the UK’s continuous commerce battle with the EU, forward of the prime minister’s go to on Monday.

Johnson is because of contact down in Belfast on Monday for talks after the Democratic Unionist occasion (DUP) blocked the election of a speaker in the Stormont meeting, per week after Sinn Féin topped the polls in elections.

Johnson will maintain talks with politicians in Northern Ireland, however the Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, stated he was in “cahoots” with the DUP in stopping a brand new government and meeting sitting.

Under Stormont guidelines, a brand new administration can’t be shaped with out the most important unionist occasion participating.

McDonald stated it was a part of “a game of brinkmanship” with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol and post-Brexit buying and selling agreements.

Speaking after a meeting of the occasion’s ruling council, she stated: “He has connived with the DUP to use Ireland, the north of Ireland, to use unionism in Ireland as a pawn in a wider game that is being played out with the European Union.

“That is clearly a shameful tactic and approach and it’s one that is absolutely not acceptable.

“We’re not one bit naive as to what’s happening here – it is very clear that the Tory government in London is in cahoots with the DUP to stall and to hold back progress, to frustrate the will of the people as expressed in the election and that, to anybody who calls themselves a democrat, is clearly unacceptable and clearly shameful. And that case will be made to Boris Johnson.”

The DUP, now Northern Ireland’s second occasion, is against the protocol as it means checks on items passing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It permits the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic to remain open, in line with the Good Friday settlement.

However, the checks have meant delays for companies.

The DUP leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has stated a “very clear message” must be despatched to the UK authorities and the EU.

On Friday the previous Brexit minister David Frost joined calls to scrap elements of the protocol. It is assumed the overseas secretary, Liz Truss, might announce plans for legislationnext week that may disapply among the protocol. He stated the UK shouldn’t “fear” a commerce struggle with the EU.

McDonald stated: “We’ve been here before. The British government threw out the process of Brexit and the negotiations and the ratification of the protocol.

“They have not acted in good faith, they have consistently threatened to act and have acted unilaterally.

“Let’s just be clear, the protocol is going nowhere, the protocol is a necessary outworking of Brexit, for which the Tory party and the DUP campaigned.

“The British government cannot use Ireland as a pawn, we won’t be the collateral damage in the Brexit negotiations.”

The DUP had a poor night time in the elections, dropping three seats, and its refusal to elect a speaker was criticised by Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill. The earlier government collapsed as a result of resignation of the primary minister, DUP politician Paul Givan, in February.

She added: “The British government have assisted the DUP in blocking tactics and this needs to stop.

“Certainly when we meet Mr Johnson on Monday we will make that clear to him.”

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