‘It is untenable!’ DUP’s Dodds demands fix to Brexit protocol as he condemns violence

Newsnight: Nigel Dodds says ‘we have to restore balance’

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Deputy DUP leader Lord Dodds said the violence in Northern Ireland is due to a combination of reasons. While speaking on Newsnight with Kirsty Wark, Lord Dodds insisted the current state of affairs was untenable and unsustainable. He added the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol saw the border between Northern Ireland the EU’s Ireland rather than Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK prioritised.

Ms Wark started by saying that the people on the streets were not listening to politicians.

Mr Dodds replied: “Yes if they were listening to the politicians they would not be out there rioting.

“Some of them are very young and are under malevolent influence.

“Clearly there are other factors as well, the current Covid restrictions are not helping.

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“The shutdown of recreational facilities, youth services etc.

“But the simmering tensions that underly all of this have been rightly pointed out in your report which is the issues to do with the Brexit protocol.

“It is also the failure to prosecute leading Republicans over the IRA funeral in which 1000 were brought out into the street.

“All of these have contributed greatly, there is no one single cause.

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“We are all united in saying that this violence should not be happening, there is no excuse for it and there can be no justification for it.”

Mr Dodds also reflected on the issues surrounding the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol and why it had left many in Northern Ireland frustrated.

He said: “The east-west arrangements between Northern Ireland the rest of the UK have been interfered with.

“There are laws and restrictions, now being made for Northern Ireland over which nobody in Belfast or Westminster has any say.

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“In the modern world, in western democracies, to have a situation like that is unsustainable and untenable.

“Instead, priority was given to north-south arrangements so what we have to restore is the balance of the agreement.

“At the moment, unionists, rightly see the balance needing to be reset.

“That is a job that needs to be done, the Brexit protocol is an international agreement of the whole UK.”

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