SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said the continued manufacturing of political crises by the DUP and Sinn Féin is failing people across the North.
Mr Eastwood was speaking amid reports DAERA Minister Edwin Poots will attempt to halt Protocol checks at ports.
He said that all Executive Ministers have a legal obligation to uphold the international agreement between the EU and the British government following Brexit.
Foyle MP Mr Eastwood said:
“The latest claim that the DUP are set to launch an attempt to block the implementation of the Protocol is yet another attempt to distract from the issues that really matter to people across the North. People are sick of constant machinations around the Protocol, the majority of people here support it and want to benefit from the unique opportunities it offers.
“Any attempt by the DUP to stop the implementation of the Protocol is doomed to failure. This is an international agreement and Executive ministers from all parties have a legal obligation to uphold it. A bid to frustrate it from the DUP or anyone else will achieve little except take time away from more important issues and create a legal quagmire.
“We need to see an immediate end to the sham fights, distraction politics and manufactured crises that plague our politics. Constantly being brought to the brink by threats to our institutions from both the DUP and Sinn Féin is stopping us from getting to grips with our failing health service and education system and focusing on improving the lives of all our people. We have emergency departments overflowing with patients and desperate calls being issued for extra staff and this is what the DUP are focusing on?
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic and people are sick and sore of this kind of politics – I know I am. It suits the DUP and Sinn Féin to make it all about themselves and draw attention away from the real issues affecting our people, because it takes the focus away from their abject failure to govern this place over the past 15 years. The only way we are going to move past this petty and childish politics is to opt for something different. The next few months will offer the opportunity for real change for the North and I hope for all our sakes that people reach out and grasp it.”