Windsor Framework is a ‘sticky plaster’, says DUP leader Donaldson

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has described the Windsor Framework as “tape tape” and said he hopes to continue negotiating with the UK government.

The deal received effective backing from the House of Commons on Wednesday when a large majority of MPs voted in favor of regulations to facilitate a key part of the deal.

The DUP and some Conservative MPs were among the 29 who voted against the Stormont brake, while there were 515 votes in favour.

Sir Jeffrey insisted on Thursday that the Windsor Framework is “insufficient” and said more work is needed to ensure that the arrangements “respect Northern Ireland’s place within the UK and its internal market”.

The DUP refuses to participate in the Stormont Assembly until their concerns about the post-Brexit deal are addressed.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris met delegations from Stormont’s five main parties at Hillsborough Castle on Thursday.

Speaking after his meeting with Mr Heaton-Harris, Sir Jeffrey said: “I’m not interested in adhesive plasters, they don’t work and I’m afraid there is an element of adhesive plaster in the Windsor frame.

“It won’t work, it won’t deliver the long-term stability and prosperity that Northern Ireland needs.”

Sir Jeffrey said his party hoped the UK prime minister and government “work this out”.

“There is no better place than here in Royal Hillsborough to tell the Government that we have to resolve this, we have to make the change that is required to achieve a stable and sustainable government in Northern Ireland,” he said.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris (Brian Lawless/PA)

“When the Foreign Secretary returns from Brussels, when the Prime Minister has time, we will sit down with them along with the Secretary of State and present our case.”

However, Mr Heaton-Harris said the Windsor Framework will be implemented into law.

“The Windsor Framework is not an adhesive bandage, it is a solution to the problems that the protocol produced and it will work,” he told the media.

“And the two parties to those negotiations that have been concluded, the UK government and the European Union, will make the framework work.

“So there is nothing else to take away from that conversation. It does.”

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said it was “time to move on” and for the Stormont Executive to be reformed immediately.

“Really now, there is no more pretext, there is no more excuse to keep the executive down and to keep the assembly down,” he said.

“While we respect the need for people to have time to reflect, time for clarification, the truth is that matters have been resolved between London and Brussels, and now the facts are that political leaders must step forward, return to the government and do business.”

Alliance Party deputy leader Stephen Farry said negotiations are over, describing the Windsor Framework as a “done deal”.

“This will not be reopened for renegotiation, the UK and the European Union will formally approve it tomorrow in the joint committee, so it is clear that now is the time for people to make the decision in terms of what they want. to do in terms of making Northern Ireland work, and it’s time for the DUP to get back into the political institutions and work with the rest of us to tackle a whole range of problems that are piling up.”

UUP Deputy Director Robbie Butler said there is still a lot of work to be done to restore the Stormont Executive.

“We reiterated the challenges that the Windsor Framework brings here to Northern Ireland, the governance issues that lie within it, but we also talked about the opportunities,” he said.

“Clearly, there is still a lot of work to be done here to restore Stormont, but that is what we want the Secretary of State to make his priority now.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “The House of Commons made a very clear statement yesterday: there are no more negotiations to be done, the deal is the deal. We have big reservations about some parts, we don’t like the Stormont brake, but we’ve all been through enough negotiations to know that you don’t get everything you want in one negotiation, and now is the time to lead.

“Jeffrey Donaldson has been given some time to consider… there may be a little bit more time left, but not much because the health service basically collapsed, the economy stagnated and we have a great opportunity with this protocol to trade on both markets. unhindered.”


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