Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis to urge all parties to form executive after Sinn Fein’s historic election win amid concerns over protocol | UK News


A government minister has said ‘nothing is on the table’ in negotiations to address concerns over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan was speaking to Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, urging all political parties to form an executive as soon as possible after Sinn Fein’s historic election victory.

Mr Lewis will meet the leaders of Stormont’s five main political parties, including sinn fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Monday as concerns grow in government over the protocol.

The protocol governs trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit.

On Saturday, Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the IRA, became the first nationalist party to win the most seats to the Northern Ireland Assembly over its 101-year history.

Ms Donelan told Sky’s Kay Burley: “Our priority is to address the priority head on. We have a duty to the people of Northern Ireland. They are an integral part of the UK.

“The Northern Ireland protocol is not working and I think concerns about this have been reflected in the recent results we have seen in the election. We are working at pace to resolve this. Nothing is on the table. table.”

“We will not hesitate to take further measures”

Ahead of today’s meeting, Mr Lewis said the people of Northern Ireland deserved ‘stable and accountable devolved government’.

“We need to settle the outstanding issues on the Northern Ireland Protocol, and we want to do that in agreement with the EU, but as we have always made clear, we will not hesitate to take further action if necessary,” he said. .

Sinn Fein Vice President Michelle O’Neill is now set to become the country’s first Nationalist Prime Minister.

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Northern Ireland protocol needs to be ‘fixed’

Attachment protocol “cannot be deferred”

Under the power-sharing model in Northern Ireland, the executive must have representatives from both nationalist parties who want Irish unity – Sinn Fein – and unionists, who want Northern Ireland to continue be part of the UK – the DUP.

The DUP has said it will not participate in a devolved power-sharing government with Sinn Fein unless progress is made on the protocol.

Speaking after Sinn Fein’s victory, Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, said the election results made it clear that laying down the northern ireland protocol “cannot be postponed”.

Some fear progress on power-sharing will stall after last Thursday’s election.

Mr Raab said: ‘It is clear now: if anything, the result in Northern Ireland of this election clearly shows it, it cannot be postponed.’

He added that stability was “threatened” by problems with the protocol, which governs Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade deals.

Read more:
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol and why is it important?

Who is Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill?
What is power sharing and why does Northern Ireland use it?

The UK and the EU have agreed to put the protocol in place after Brexit to avoid the introduction of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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Reaction to Sinn Fein victory

Previously Stormont’s largest party, the DUP resigned as premier in February in protest at the Northern Ireland protocol.

Due to power-sharing rules, this decision also forced Ms O’Neill to resign.

After Monday’s meeting, Mr Lewis will also meet with Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney to discuss the election results and the importance of forming a fully functioning executive as soon as possible.

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