MPs to debate DUP petition on NI Protocol

A debate on the Northern Ireland Protocol is due to take place at Westminster on Monday.

The debate was triggered by a DUP e-petition which received over 140,000 signatures, passing the 100,000-signature threshold for a parliamentary debate.

Party leader Arlene Foster says the protocol is "flawed" and has ruptured the east-west relationship between NI and Great Britain.

Speaking ahead of the debate she said: "There is no question of the public anger towards the Protocol. The petition demonstrated that. 

"Brussels and London must work for a permanent solution. 

"Temporary measures will not work.  The protocol is flawed and has ruptured the east-west strand of the Belfast Agreement."

The DUP leadership has rolled out a five-point plan in recent weeks aimed at frustrating the operation of the protocol.

That campaign includes a boycott of North-South ministerial engagement on issues related to the contentious trading arrangements.

The protocol was agreed by the EU and UK to overcome one of the main sticking points in the Brexit withdrawal talks – the Irish border.

It keeps that frontier free flowing by Northern Ireland remaining in the single market for goods and applying EU customs rules at its ports.

The protocol instead moved the regulatory and customs border to the Irish Sea, with a series of checks, certifications, inspections and declarations now required on many goods being shipped into the region from Great Britain.

This has led to some trading disruption since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December.