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The Sinn Fein leader has admitted to Sky News that the Northern Ireland Protocol as it stands poses problems for businesses.

Speaking on Sky News’ Beth Rigby interview programme, Mary Lou McDonald said “the fact that Brexit has thrown this paper blizzard, in some cases, is problematic”.

Ms McDonald also said the UK’s proposal to ‘legislate to break the law’ is ‘an extremely dangerous place to go’ and that she ‘absolutely’ believes a border poll – a unification referendum – will take place over the next decade.

Earlier this week, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss outlined plans to change the protocol.

She told the Commons that the UK was facing a ‘very grave and serious situation’ and that without the UK government addressing the problems caused by the Northern Ireland protocol, the power-sharing executive of Stormont cannot be reinstated.

Britain says it does not want to abandon the arrangement and would prefer to reach a negotiated settlement.

But Sinn Féin, which became the first nationalist party to win the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly in its 101-year history earlier this month, said the proposal would breach international law .

Sinn Féin has accused the UK government of co-ordinating with the “obstruction tactics” of its political opponents in the DUP who are unhappy with the protocol, which governs Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade deals.

Speaking to Sky News political editor Beth Rigby, Ms McDonald said: “I think the UK government’s decision to go international, actually worse than that, to legislate to break the law is a place extremely dangerous.

“I think it demonstrates very bad faith, in fact I think it amplifies the kind of bad faith we’ve seen from Boris Johnson’s government since Brexit and it certainly doesn’t matter, let me repeating it, does nothing to assist in the much needed goal of urgently and immediately establishing an Executive Government in the North of Ireland.”


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