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24 Jan 2022

Ferguson: Protocol is a boost for North's economy

Foyle MLA says opponents of Northern Ireland's access to European Single Market should stop letting flawed ideological position get in the way of the interests of businesses and people

Ferguson: Protocol is a boost for North's economy

Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson: "The DUP economy minister is failing in his duty to promote the economy by taking advantage of the protocol and our continued unique access to the EU single market."

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson said figures published by Britain’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) highlights once again that the Protocol is benefiting the north and blunting some of the worst impacts of Brexit.

The figures showed that the North was economically outperforming the rest of the United Kingdom since the lockdown.

Via the Northern Ireland Protocol that was implemented after Brexit, the North's exports to the Republic of Ireland leapt by 60 per cent this year.

Ferguson says that it is thanks to the Protocol which gives the North access to the EU's Single Market that has allowed business to flourish and insists that opponents of it should look at the figures and re-evaluate their position.

She said: “The latest statistics from the ONS show that the north has performed better economically than Britain in the face of the challenges caused by Brexit.

“This highlights once again that the Protocol is benefiting the north and blunting some of the worst impacts being seen in Britain.

“These figures come on the back of the Office for Budgetary Responsibility in Britain outlining last month that Brexit will hit the economy harder than the Covid pandemic.

“There is a steady trend of evidence pointing to the protocol doing what was intended: allowing for supply chain shifts, protecting north-south cooperation and protecting the all-island economy.

“It is clear that the DUP economy minister (Gordon Lyons) is failing in his duty to promote the economy by taking advantage of the protocol and our continued unique access to the EU single market.

“It is time he faced reality. He needs to stop letting his flawed ideological position get in the way of the best interests of businesses and people here.

“He should focus instead on bringing forward a strategy to attract investment and create jobs using the opportunities of the protocol.”

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