Jeffrey Donaldson is ‘hopeful’ the talks will resolve Northern Ireland Protocol problems but urges the UK government to ‘stand firm’.

The leader of the DUP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said he was “hopeful” that talks between the UK government and the EU on resolving issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol, meaning his party could see power-sharing in Stormont will resume.

Following his party’s annual conference on Saturday, Mr Donaldson told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster: “After months of delay there is now a renewed focus on what needs to be done.

“I made very clear over the weekend what that looks like and I think the UK Government and our Prime Minister must stand firm to pursue the objectives they have outlined in the Northern Ireland Protocol Act.

“We believe this represents an outcome that respects the integrity of the UK and the single market and Northern Ireland’s place in it, but also respects the EU single market, which means that goods moving in the UK are not subject to controls and Subject to regulations enforced by an external entity.”

Whether or not he believes Prime Minister Liz Truss will heed his advice to “stick to the targets” of the NI Protocol Act, he said: “[The Prime Minister]has said in the House of Commons that the targets must be set in all negotiations, of all targets.” that are outlined in the Protocol Bill, so I’ll take the Prime Minister at her word.

“Of course, as in the past, sometimes things can go wrong in negotiations and that is why I need the Prime Minister to understand where we are on that front.

“My goal is to restore the political institution here and maintain stability, then I have to be honest and clear with the Prime Minister and the Government as to what it takes to achieve that.

“No one can be in doubt as to what is required,” he added.

Asked if he thinks talks between British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney and the EU have resolved issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and whether people should expect news of the outcome soon, the DUP- Guide: “It’s nothing I heard.

“I haven’t, and it’s not the advice we’re getting from the government. They are in technical talks, political negotiations have not yet resumed.”

Mr Donaldson went on to say the cost of living crisis “was exacerbated by the Protocol”, adding that Westminster has the “funds and support” to help people living in Northern Ireland.

“We have argued that any measures put in place should apply to Northern Ireland. Our economy minister has actively ensured that this happens,” he said.

Speaking in Donegal on Wednesday, Mr Coveney described the resumption of talks between the EU and the UK as “positive news”. Jeffrey Donaldson is ‘hopeful’ the talks will resolve Northern Ireland Protocol problems but urges the UK government to ‘stand firm’.

Fry Electronics Team

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