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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
PA Graffiti on a wall in the Waterside of Derry City with the message, 'Londonderry Say No To Irish Sea Border'.
# NI Protocol
Labour says it would deliver ‘rapid deals’ with the EU on NI trade issues if it wins power
Peter Kyle said there are ‘problems’ with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

 

LABOUR HAS PLEDGED to deliver “rapid deals” with the EU on trade issues linked to Northern Ireland if it wins power.

Labour shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle also told the party’s conference in Liverpool that the Conservatives have “squandered” with “lies and neglect” a Labour legacy of a Northern Ireland “increasingly at ease”.

Kyle said there are “problems” with the Northern Ireland Protocol, but said they can be solved and insisted “negotiation is the only path forward”.

peter-kyle-interview PA File photo of Peter Kyle, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. PA

Prime Minister Liz Truss has said she would prefer a negotiated solution with the EU over post-Brexit trading arrangements, but she is also pushing ahead with the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which the EU and other critics say will breach international law by suspending elements of the agreement.

Kyle told the conference: “Labour bequeathed the Tories a Northern Ireland that was increasingly at ease, but they squandered it with their lies and neglect.

“It was the Tories who proposed, drafted, negotiated and signed the Northern Ireland protocol into international treaty.

“Yes, there are problems with it, but they can be solved. We know that negotiation is the only path forward.”

Addressing his party’s proposed solution to the challenges, he said: “A Labour government would deliver rapid deals with the EU on the flow of goods, the sharing of data, and making it easier for agricultural products to move around the UK and the island of Ireland.”

“Labour delivered peace, prosperity and confidence to Northern Ireland. The Tories can’t even negotiate a prawn sandwich across the Irish Sea,” he added.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill was a “kamikaze approach to diplomacy” and warned that if it passed it would risk “a trade war with our closest allies”.

Lammy also defended Labour’s approach to Brexit policy: “I think it’s completely legitimate for us in the Opposition to set out our ambition to solve problems that are emerging but to rule out joining the single market and customs union at this stage.”

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