Sir Jeffrey Donaldson warns government not to implement Windsor Framework without DUP agreement

The DUP leader has warned the government not to press ahead with implementing the Windsor Framework in the absence of an agreement with his party.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson says progress has been made in the talks with the government, but not enough for the DUP to return to Stormont.

His warning came after reports the government were prepared in implement the Windsor Framework without input from local politicians in Northern Ireland.

“We want the issues resolved. The Windsor Framework doesn’t solve all the problems created by the Northern Ireland Protocol and that’s what we need,” he told UTV.

“We need a proactive approach here to find the solutions. Just pressing on with implementation isn’t going to solve those problems, in fact it could create even more problems.

“I want to see a functioning Stormont, I want to see our political institutions back up and running, but it has to be on a sustainable basis. That’s why we need to sort these issues out now and not kick the can down the road.”

Asked if negotiations were close to a point where the DUP would end their boycott of Stormont, Sir Jeffrey was moderately positive.

“I think we are closer to the point where we have made sufficient process, but we’re not there yet,” he said.

“There is still a gap, there are still areas that need to be resolved and properly addressed by the government and we need to see effective legislation that will safeguard and protect Northern Ireland’s ability to trade within the United Kingdom.

“That’s fundamentally important for us that our economic rights are protected in law and respected in practice.”

The DUP Leader also made it clear promises from the government without legislation wouldn’t be enough.

“Obviously we want to see the legislation coming forward, we want to see what the legislation looks like and that it does what the Prime Minister has state – that Northern Ireland’s ability to trade with the rest of the United Kingdom will be protected,” he concluded. So that’s what we are looking for.”

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