Sort Brexit border or I’ll call election – DUP issues stern warning to EU

EU using Northern Ireland as Brexit 'whipping boy' says DUP

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The DUP leader grilled Boris Johnson, 57, in Prime Minister’s Questions about the Northern Ireland Protocol and what the Government are doing to deal with this. During PMQ’s, the 58-year-old pressed the Prime Minister about the Protocol, arguing that conditions for invoking a get-out clause in the agreement had “already been met”.

Sir Jeffrey urged the PM that if “rapid progress” was not made in the negotiations, then the Government should consider triggering the clause.

The longest-serving MP in Northern Ireland asked Mr Johnson: “Does the Prime Minister accept that the conditions now exist to trigger Article 16 of the protocol in the event that the current negotiations with the EU fail to arrive at an acceptable outcome?”

He replied: “He is completely right, I am sad to say, in what he says.”

The 57-year-old continued: “If we can’t see progress – as we have been saying now for some months – if we can’t see rapid progress in the way that we spelled out in our command paper then I think it is clear to everybody that the conditions for invoking Article 16 have already been met.”

But Unionist Sir Jeffrey vowed that unless action was taken from the Government, then they would be left with no choice but to go to the polls in Northern Ireland.

He continued: “I am glad that the Government has stepped up and our pressure has brought Brussels back to the table.

“That is progress from the days of ‘no, nay, never’ to changes.

But endless negotiations without product will not suffice.

“It is welcome that the Prime Minister wants to see rapid progress and recognises that the conditions to trigger Article 16 have already been met.

“If Brussels is not prepared the make the kind of changes envisaged in the July Command Paper, then it is time for the Government to act unilaterally and protect this part of the United Kingdom.

“If the Government fails to act, then I will have no option but ask the people of Northern Ireland to make their voice heard at the ballot box.”

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But the battle cry from the Northern Irish politician has seen many supporting the idea of a new election, but not for the reasons he might be hoping for.

Michael Murphy tweeted: “Bring it on Jeffrey because it will probably be your last one and maybe even the DUP’s for that matter!”

@pfconn believed the calls from the Lagon Valley MP for another election was ironic.

They tweeted: “The irony. The DUP calling the Protocol ‘undemocratic’ yet they’re happy to ignore the democratic majority in NI that voted Remain!

“The DUP want a hard border; that’s the only show in town for them.”

Duncan Kelly believes that an election being called would bring an end to the DUP.

They tweeted: “Let it happen!

“His own will turn on him and may well mean the end of him and his party!!”

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