East Derry MP Gregory Campbell calls for 'radical action' in light of unionist 'tension' and 'resentment' over the Irish Protocol

East Derry MP Gregory Campbell has said 'radical actions' from the British Government must be taken to allay tensions and resentments within unionism around the Irish Protocol.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:30 pm

The DUP MP, who has called for the Protocol which mandates checks on goods between Britain and the north to be scrapped, raised the matter at Westminster.

Addressing the British House of Commons remotely from his home this afternoon, he said: "The Secretary of State has referred to the temporary nature of last week's announcement as well as the tensions that have resulted from the implementation of the Protocol now for some months."

He asked: "Does he grasp fully the degree of resentment in unionism in Northern Ireland where the consent of the unionist community has now diminished to the point where radical actions and radical steps will have to be taken by his government as a matter of urgency?"

Gregory Campbell addressing the House of Commons from his home today.

The Secretary of State Brandon Lewis said he was aware of the degree to which unionists in the north have been unsettled by the fall out of Brexit.

"The Honourable Gentleman outlines a strength of feeling which is absolutely there and it's clear the tension and palpable feeling within the unionist community over what has happened over the last few weeks," he said.

Mr. Lewis specifically referenced the abortive decision by the European Commission in late January to block the movement of vaccines from the European Union into the north that was only reversed after a frantic intervention by the Dublin Government and others.

"I think it's why it is important that we all work hard to ensure that we can provide a pragmatic flexible way to move forward to ensure we can deliver things for people in Northern Ireland in the way that was always intended and ultimately the future of the Protocol will be in the hands of the people of Northern Ireland through the consent mechanism," he declared.