UK PM Sunak: New Northern Ireland deal not about any one political party

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New post-Brexit trading arrangements agreed between Britain and the European Union are about improving the situation for the people of Northern Ireland, not any one political party, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday.

When asked on BBC Radio whether he would impose the new deal without the backing of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, Sunak said: “The framework is what we have agreed with the European Union.”

“This is not necessarily about me or any one political party. This is about what’s best for the people and communities and businesses of Northern Ireland and this agreement will make a hugely positive difference to them,” he said.

The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said a new provision to stop new European Union trade rules from applying to goods in Northern Ireland did appear to give its Stormont regional assembly the ability to apply a brake.

“I do think that what has been proposed at first reading does give Stormont the ability to apply the brake where the application of EU law for the purposes of facilitating cross-border trade impacts on our ability to trade with the rest of the United Kingdom,” Jeffrey Donaldson told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday.

“I have said that progress has been made. We continue to have some concerns,” he said of the new post-Brexit deal struck between Britain and the EU on Monday.

The Stormont brake, unveiled as part of the deal, enables the British government to stop new EU laws from applying to goods in Northern Ireland if requested by a third of lawmakers in Stormont, the British province’s regional assembly.

via Reuters

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