Northern Ireland Protocol: incompetence and hypocrisy

Tuesday’s announcement of proposed changes to the existing EU Protocol reek of both hypocrisy and incompetence.

Many will ask why these relatively straightforward solutions – like a Green Lane and a Red Lane – have taken so long to get to the negotiating table.

Others will question the gross incompetence of the Tory government in its drafting and acceptance of the Protocol Bill in the first place. Yet more will point to the hypocrisy of the Irish Government, Sinn Fein and the SDLP for their aggressive defence and unconditional insistence on its full implementation when they knew all along that it was flawed and problematic.

The changes to the Protocol will take time. The changes can be made and they can wait for the amendments to take their course.

What cannot wait is the need for a fully functioning Assembly and Executive to start addressing the real and growing problems facing working people and their families, the cost of living, NHS wating lists, the shortage of public housing, low pay, integrated education, a Bill of Rights and the absence of accessible affordable childcare.

The Democratic Unionist Party must now return to Stormont, appoint a Speaker, nominate a Deputy First Minister and bring to an end, the current phase of, this dysfunctional government.

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