Parties in Northern Ireland have suggested they see the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Frost as an opportunity to improve talks with the European Union.
It comes as Brexit Secretary David Frost resigned at a critical time to ‘make sure Brexit is over’, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s key pledge in the 2019 general election and the latest to risk d ‘to be broken.
This decision comes at a delicate moment in the Brexit process for the future of Northern Ireland.
NI’s Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Alliance Party have all agreed that Britain’s exit from the EU now has a better chance of successful negotiations now that Lord Frost has stepped down.
But Sinn Fein vice-president Michelle O’Neill said Lord Frost had undermined the NI protocol.
Northern Ireland “will not be collateral damage in Conservative chaos”
She said: ‘David Frost negotiated Brexit, which a majority here has rejected.
“Since then, he has undermined the protocol, which limits the damage Brexit has on our people and our economy. Now we need some momentum in the talks to make this work better. The North will not be collateral damage in the Conservative chaos. “
O’Neill told the BBC: “This is the same David Frost who negotiated Brexit and he has worked to undermine it every day since.
“I am less concerned with what is happening within the Conservative Party, the consternation and the disruption.
“What concerns me most is that the protocol is working, that pragmatic solutions are found, that certainty and stability is achieved for our entire business community here which has been left out in terms of uncertainty because of the Brexit mess.
“David Frost will be replaced by another minister and whoever that minister is, they have to find solutions, work with the EU, make the protocol work and provide that certainty and stability that is desperately needed.”
“Possibility of resuming talks with the EU”
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MP said Frost’s resignation was “an opportunity to reset” talks.
He said: “It is telling that in his resignation letter David Frost did not even make a cursory mention of Northern Ireland.
“The truth is that his approach to the negotiations on the functioning of the protocol has been aggressively influenced by a narrow ideology, almost always at odds with the needs and wishes of the people and businesses on this island.
“Protocol negotiations cannot become a victim of chaos within the London government. Frost’s resignation is an opportunity to reset the approach to dialogue with the European Commission, to refresh relations with the EU and to return to the solutions that are presented to these challenges in the Good Friday deal.
Alliance MP Stephen Farry said: “I hope this will lead to a less confrontational and more realistic approach around the Protocol.
“Let’s build on the momentum of the drug breakthrough and find pragmatic solutions to the other challenges.
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