THE DUP is set to double down on stopping Stormont by refusing to rejoin government after a key election in May.
Party Leader Jeffrey Donaldson said there would be no comeback without a reworked protocol no matter what the rallying poll yields.
His words on Friday come a day after he withdrew First Secretary Paul Givan from his post.
That effectively keeps the Power Sharing Moderators frozen indefinitely by making it impossible for Stormont to make important decisions.
Mr. Donaldson “We wanted to find a new mission, but we were clear that this mission was based on prompt resolution of the protocol,” said today.
It should be “a solution we can all live with,” he said.
The Lagan Valley MP has threatened to act in a number of months if the protocol that creates the post-Brexit trade border in the Sea of Ireland, is not overhauled.
Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said Mr Donaldson’s party had leapfrogged amid ongoing UK-EU negotiations.
Most read in The Irish Sun
“People are working day and night to address the legitimate concerns and concerns of union members,” he told RTE. We are listening to unionism.
“But he added that negotiations will continue and, in terms of negotiations, the action of the DUP” has not changed much. “
Mr Donaldson said last week he had been advised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the prospect of a deal in the next few weeks was “20 to 30%”.
The DUP’s move led to Sinn Fein calling for an early election, although without the DUP it would not have been possible to appoint a first or deputy minister thereafter.
GOVT PRESS AHEAD
Sinn Fein Treasury Secretary Conor Murphy said Mr Donaldson’s party was “cynical and reckless” and that he was seeking “the public verdict on what the DUP did”.
Meanwhile, several party heads met in Belfast without the DUP to find a way forward on Friday.
Their hope is to find a way to push through with important legislation even without a first minister.
According to the council’s rules, Mr. Givan’s resignation automatically forces First Deputy Minister Michelle O’Neill to step aside.
After the meeting, Ms O’Neill tweeted: “Party leaders met this morning to plan how to pass the bills quickly.
GET INVOICE ONLINE
“Sex crime and human trafficking, organ donation, welfare mitigation, inclusive education, autism and climate legislation are just some of the bills that need to be passed before this mandate ends.”
The DUP’s action on Thursday follows Wednesday’s unilateral order from Edwin Poots, the party’s agriculture minister, demanding a halt to protocol checks on farm foods arriving from the UK.
His order was suspended today by the High Court in Belfast pending the outcome of the legal challenges.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8316028/dup-stalling-stormont-government-may-election/ DUP doubles down on stopping Stormont by refusing to rejoin Government after May elections