Apprentice Boys of Derry will support 'legal and peaceful action' to end NI Protocol which it brands an 'affront to democracy'

Graeme Stenhouse, Governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.Graeme Stenhouse, Governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
Graeme Stenhouse, Governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
The Apprentice Boys of Derry have said they will support any 'legal and peaceful action' to end the Northern Ireland Protocol which the association has decried as an 'affront to democracy.'

The loyal order, in a hard-hitting intervention on Monday morning, blasted the protocol, which it says undermines the integrity of the United Kingdom.

In a statement the Apprentice Boys' Association, General Committee said it had taken no position in the 2016 Brexit referendum but accepted the democratic result of the poll.

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It said: "At the end of 2019 our concern on the NI Protocol alongside the Withdrawal Agreement was that the UK did not leave the EU as one nation; that in Northern Ireland alone, our daily lives would be impacted by decisions made by a remote, unaccountable, and un-elected bureaucracy.

"Recent actions on Friday, January 29, crystallised all the worst aspects of an EU legalistic approach that since the end of 2020 had already led to a litany of disruptions to businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland, already evident or impending.

"It is now obvious that the outworking of the NI Protocol as it stands will mean lost jobs and a significant increase in the cost of living, affecting business owners, workers and families across Northern Ireland irrespective of community or politics.

"The NI Protocol, and the clear barriers it places between our islands, our families, friends and fellow citizens, in travel and trade, is the very opposite of an ‘unfettered’ United Kingdom promised by successive Prime Ministers since 2016."

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The association said now is not the time for recriminations about who is responsible for the protocol but promised to oppose it.

"There is a very clear, present and specific challenge to peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland that is the NI Protocol.

"It is imperative on the UK Government to do what is best for all its citizens, across the UK, equally.

"In the coming days the Apprentice Boys’ Association will be prepared to lend support to any legal and peaceful action necessary to end this affront to democracy and impediment to free exchange within the UK," the statement declared.

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