Michelle O'Neill describes Boris Johnson's protocol approach as 'reckless and madness'

  • WATCH: Michelle O'Neill speaks to the media before meeting Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson's plan to scrap parts of the protocol has been described as "reckless and madness" by Sinn Féín's vice-president.

Prospective First Minister Michelle O'Neill said parties do not need a “pep talk” from Mr Johnson to restore power-sharing government at Stormont.

Speaking in Dublin following a meeting with Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Ms O’Neill said 10 days after the Assembly election the DUP is “holding society to ransom”.

Ms O’Neill is currently in Hillsborough in Co Down meeting with UK Prime Minister Johnson.

Speaking briefly in Hillsborough before the meeting, the Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald criticised the "very cynical antics of the Tory Government."

Ms McDonald indicated her party delegation would tell Mr Johnson they want the Stormont Executive up and running.

"People have had it now with the choreography between No 10 and the DUP," she said.

"People have voted for real change and that's what people are going to get."

Earlier in the day Michelle O'Neill told the media: “We have no desire for a pep talk from Boris Johnson, we want politics to work.

“I want to be in the Executive. I want to lead for the people, not least to respond to the cost-of-living crisis.

"But what we have today are repeated approaches from Boris Johnson to say they are going to take unilateral action to disapply parts of the protocol.

"That is just reckless and madness.

"I think all efforts and all attentions need to be turned to negotiated solutions, agreed solutions, find ways to smooth the implementation of the protocol because it is here to stay, and I think that’s an objective that both I and the Taoiseach share.”

In an article written for the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Johnson says the current protocol undermines the Good Friday Agreement, and thus needs to be reformed.

"We need to avoid the impression", the PM writes, "that EU custom codes... somehow trump everything else."

Mr Johnson also seems to be repeating his threat to remove parts of the protocol when he says that unless "the EU's position changes" it "will be a nessecity to act" to protect NI "in the long term."

He does not specify what form this action will take.