Derry MLA Sinéad McLaughlin says Protocol alternative advocates suffering from ‘Brexit constipation’

Derry MLA Sinéad McLaughlin has claimed advocates of proposed alternatives to the Irish Protocol are suffering from Brexit ‘constipation.’

The SDLP economy spokesperson said there was no viable alternative to the Protocol that was put in place as a result of Brexit.

She put the point to the Economy Minister Diane Dodds at the Assembly this week.

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“What alternative does the Minister have to an Irish Sea border? It is nothing short of Brexit constipation to keep talking about technological solutions, alternative arrangements and, God forbid, the Malthouse arrangements. What alternative to the current sea border is she offering to Members and the rest of Northern Ireland?” she asked.

The Minister replied: “I will not go down the metaphor route on that question, but I thank the Member for it. The checks across the Irish Sea bring costs to businesses and consumers and a lack of consumer choice.

“This morning, I spoke to a businessman who indicated very clearly to me that the cost of the protocol to his business this year would be somewhere in the region of £500,000. That is an enormous cost that will eventually be passed on to consumers and families and will be reflected in the cost of living for those families.

“My party and I were clear that we never wanted the NI Protocol, and we do not see that a border and checks between us and our largest market are of any value whatever to the economy or to businesses in NI.”