The unionists of Northern Ireland block the parliamentary start to demand changes in Brexit


The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has confirmed that it will not facilitate the start of the new legislature in the Northern Irish Parliament as a sign of protest against the Northern Ireland protocol included in the agreement to leave the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The Northern Irish Assembly is summoned this Friday for the inauguration of its new leaders, after in the elections of May 5 it was not the DUP but the nationalist Sinn Féin the winning party, contrary to what had been happening in all the previous elections since the 1998 peace accords.

The unionist leader, Jeffrey Donaldson, has announced that they will not facilitate the election of a new president of Parliament and, therefore, start parliamentary activity, since he considers that doubts about the protocol agreed upon must first be resolved to avoid a ‘hard border’ in Ulster.

This protocol provides for a series of safeguards and controls in the passage of goods from Great Britain to the province to avoid serious distortions in the single market and the customs union, since the Northern Irish remain in this European system despite the divorce with the EU.

“The unionist doubts about the Northern Ireland protocol is not simply a political fight,” Donaldson argued, in a statement in which he spoke of “economic and political damage” to the territory that, in his opinion, is hardly “the tip of the iceberg” of what could happen if the agreement is not corrected.

For the vice president of Sinn Féin, Michelle O’Neill, who claims her right to be chief minister, the DUP’s decision is “shameful” and implies a “punishment of the population”. “Today is the day that we should form an Executive that puts money in people’s pockets and begins to fix the health system,” she lamented.

The DUP shares its criticism of the Northern Ireland protocol with the central government of the United Kingdom, headed by Boris Johnson, but this position is a minority in the Northern Ireland Assembly, since those who support it add up to 37 deputies compared to the 53 who advocate maintaining agreements as they are.

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