DUP applicability motion on introducing new EU law fails to gain cross-community support

The Windsor Framework allows the Assembly to vote on whether new EU regulations should apply in Northern Ireland, the DUP's motion has failed to pass through the Assembly.

A vote in the Northern Ireland Assembly on whether a new EU regulation should apply in Northern Ireland has failed to gain cross-community support.

The motion was brought by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), it is the first motion of its kind, having been agreed as part of the Windsor Framework, which the DUP agreed with the UK government last year.

The regulation was to introduce geographical indication (GI) protection for craft and industrial products.

An applicability motion must gain cross-community support from a majority of unionists and nationalists – as this motion failed to do that – it will now be passed to the UK government which can decide whether or not to introduce the law.

All unionist MLAs voted to reject the new EU regulation, whilst Sinn Féin, Alliance and the SDLP all voted to introduce it.

Jonathan Buckley a DUP MLA for Upper Bann said that this EU law would create a new regulatory border within the United Kingdom when speaking in the Assembly chamber today

Leader of the DUP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said “This is a good day for our local democracy because your representatives have had a say and they’ve been able to stop a law applying which would harm Northern Ireland”.

Yesterday, the leader of the opposition at Stormont, the SDLP’s Matthew O’Toole claimed that the DUP motion was a ‘stunt’.

“Should the DUP successfully block this tomorrow, the Opposition will write to the [UK government] and Joint Committee to make clear this is not a reasonable or defensible use of the applicability motion. Again, this stunt highlights that the bilateral, clandestine process was never about the NI economy. It was about hardline unionism’s internal psychodrama.”

Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney said: “In the last week, our economic potential and trade advantage arising from the north’s dual market access have been successfully showcased in New York and Washington DC.”

 “If we are to fully realise this potential to bring good jobs and prosperity to our businesses, farmers, and families, we have a duty to create and maintain the political stability that is necessary for attracting investment.” 

Sorcha Eastwood, Alliance MLA for Lagan Valley said: “I don’t want to spend the next three years re-litigating Brexit. I’d much rather be getting on with the job of work at hand.”

“We never hear about the fact that we have so many skills shortage gaps in our economy, because of the issue of people who have moved away after Brexit”.

All eyes will now be on the UK government to see whether or not they choose to introduce the EU regulation.

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