Sinn warns UK must act ‘responsibly’ to stop ‘attack’ to scrap part of hated Brexit deal | United Kingdom | News

On Monday, the controversial legislation will be given its second reading in Parliament.

The UK government has said measures to cancel inspections of goods, animal and plant products traveling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are necessary to protect the Good Friday Agreement, peace and stability.

Earlier, Vice President Michelle O’Neill accused Boris Johnson of acting “unlawfully” through his “clear breach of international law” over the Northern Ireland Protocol amendments.

Northern Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd said the Northern Ireland protocol works for businesses, workers and families.

The imposition of checks in order to maintain an open border with the Republic infuriated the unionists.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said he hoped the bill could pass in the House of Commons before Parliament’s summer recess.

Capitals across the European Union bloc have reacted angrily to plans to bypass parts of the protocol governing trade between Britain and Northern Ireland.

The DUP has long opposed the protocol and refuses to enter Stormont’s power-sharing institutions until issues around the post-Brexit settlement of the region are addressed.

Mr O’Dowd said Friday that efforts to pass the controversial legislation must be halted, as he appealed to lawmakers to vote against the bill.

He said he came from a trade event with over 400 delegates and that people there said that dual access to the EU market and the British market worked in their favour.

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Speaking on the day the Conservatives suffered a double defeat in England’s by-election, Mr O’Dowd warned Northern Ireland should not be “collateral damage” as the prime minister’s leadership faces renewed pressure.

He said: “An attack on the Protocol through this legislation is an assault on international law. Most importantly, it is an attack on the business community, workers and families who benefit from it.

So it must stop and stop now, because the collateral damage to our society is not the result of Boris Johnson or his potential successor.

“But there are dire consequences here and at this very late stage, the Conservative Party will have to act responsibly and recognize the democratic reality that the vast majority of MLAs (members of the Legislative Assembly) support the protocol and that the protocol works in the interests of businesses, workers and families.”

He echoed Taoiseach Michael Martin’s comments earlier this month calling the legislation “economic sabotage.”

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“What Boris Johnson and others are planning to do on Monday is economic sabotage and it must be stopped and stopped now,” O’Dowd said.

He pleaded across the seats in Westminster to vote against the bill and “not be drawn into infighting in the Conservative Party”.

The bill would enable ministers to create a “green corridor” so that trusted traders would be allowed to transport goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland without check, as long as the products remained within the UK.

Products brought to market in Northern Ireland are allowed to follow UK or EU regulations, rather than having to comply with Brussels rules.

The legislation would also remove the European Court of Justice as the final arbiter in trade disputes over the protocol, with the job instead handing over to independent arbitrators.

The government insisted that the bill complies with international law under the “principle of necessity,” which allows for the abrogation of treaty obligations under “certain exceptional and very limited conditions.”

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