Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Those seeking joint authority should focus on restoring devolution [November 2022]

The press release issued by the DUP on 14 November 2022.

DUP Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan has said anyone pursing joint authority would be better to harness their energy and replace the Protocol with arrangements that unionists can support so devolution can be restored.

Mr Givan said,

“A poll where a vague question about ‘consultative role’ is asked, ignores the reality that the Republic of Ireland has no legal basis for the governing of Northern Ireland. Indeed, it would also be a breach of the Belfast and successor agreements.

Most people want to see the restoration of devolution. It is the Protocol alone that is stopping the formation of an Executive immediately. The warning that devolution and the Protocol could not co-exist was sounded 14 months ago by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, long before the last Assembly election.

The Protocol is harming Northern Ireland, and this is when we are not yet feeling its full effects. The ongoing grace periods being challenged by the EU and UK Government support have insulated us from those most devastating consequences. However, even this insulation comes at a cost with the Trader Support Service costing £365,000 per day to administer – that is £15,000 per hour. The cost of operating this scheme for a single day should be judged against the number of nurses salaries it could pay for a year.

The focus should be on replacing the Protocol with arrangements that can receive the support of unionists. That will provide a solid foundation for the restoration of devolution and we can get on with the task of reforming our Health Service through recruiting additional nurses and GPs.”