O’Toole: Protocol reports are a ‘contemptuous rejection of democratic election’

brexit protocol matthew o'toole

SDLP MLA Matthew O’Toole has branded reported plans to scrap large sections of the Northern Ireland Protocol as a contemptuous rejection of the democratic will of the people of Northern Ireland days after an Assembly election returned a majority supporting the implementation of the protocol.

The South Belfast MLA said that the plans underscore the Government’s disinterest in people in Northern Ireland, their disdain for the rule of law and the rules based international order and their shocking attitude toward agreements they negotiated and entered into.


Matthew O’Toole MLA said:


“The government’s reported plan to scrap large sections of the Northern Ireland Protocol represents a contemptuous rejection of the results of a democratic election. People here voted to increase the number of representatives in the Assembly who support implementation of the protocol to mitigate the worst impact of Brexit. The goalposts can’t be moved now.


“This government negotiated the protocol, campaigned on the back of the deal they secured, won a majority on that basis and has spent every waking hour since trying to resile from the terms of the agreement they entered into with the European Union. Now, with their Prime Minister on the ropes, they are once again using this place and our people as a casual distraction from their serious failures in government.

“Liz Truss has half an eye on Boris Johnson’s job. And this plan, which demonstrates disinterest in people in Northern Ireland, disdain for the results of our election and an appalling attitude toward the rule of law, is more about her position in the Conservative Party than doing what’s right for people here.


“If the government pushes ahead with these plans, it will make the situation facing people here much worse. It will fracture international cooperation at a time when alliances between nation states are more important than ever. And it will fragment a deteriorating political position in Northern Ireland. None of that is worth a few slaps on the back from Tory backbenchers in the House of Commons and the SDLP will resist it tooth and nail.”

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