Protocol bill 'now needs to progress rapidly' at Westminster, says DUP Donaldson

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has welcomed the Government's move to press ahead with a bill to make changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He said it was important the bill was not subject to either "wrecking amendments or indeed other amendments that would dilute the framework and impact of the bill".

It comes after it was confirmed controversial legislation will move to its next stage at Westminster on Monday.

The DUP has refused to enter the power-sharing institutions at Stormont until issues with the post-Brexit trade deal are addressed.

Sir Jeffrey said it was important that the bill now "progresses rapidly" through its legislative stage before the House of Commons goes into its summer recess.

"In our view the bill, alongside the regulations, if enacted, can help to restore the political equilibrium in Northern Ireland by replacing the Protocol with arrangements that restore NI's place within the UK," said the DUP leader.

"We encourage members across the House of Commons to support this bill given that talks and discussions between the UK and the EU have failed to deliver solutions to the fundamental everyday problems brought about by the protocol.

"It is important that this bill now progresses rapidly through its legislative stages in the Commons before the summer recess.

"We will want to see that not only does the bill receive substantial support at Westminster, but that it is not subject to either wrecking amendments or indeed other amendments that would dilute the framework and impact of the bill.

"We want to see the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive restored and that can be achieved when there is a sustainable basis for doing so.

"We will continue to be condition and not calendar led as we look forward to this bill now making rapid progress.”