UK government plans to scrap aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol could have a “colossal political and economic impact”, Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill has said.
At a party meeting in Belfast, Ms O’Neill launched an attack on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who she said was motivated solely by staying in power.
It was the Sinn Féin party’s first meeting since winning a historic victory in last month’s Assembly elections, becoming the largest party in the North for the first time.
However, the DUP blocked attempts to restore the Stormont power-sharing assembly or form an executive as part of its protest against the protocol, which created a trade border in the Irish Sea.
The UK government has since revealed plans to introduce national legislation that would override parts of the Brexit deal for Northern Ireland.
Speaking of Mr Johnson, Ms O’Neill said: ‘Our interests are certainly not his interests, nor those of the Tories.
“By ‘our interests’ I mean all the people here, our local political democracy, our peace process, our progress and the transformation of the island over the past quarter century.
“They don’t care about our future – our common future. Boris Johnson’s only interests are to retain power and serve the sectoral interests of a London elite.
She added: ‘The DUP has fought with the Tories before, and of course they will never learn. What is at stake is that Boris Johnson wants to cling to power for as long as he can get away with it.
“The DUP and a faction of the Tories with whom they are aligned want to squeeze what they can, while they can, out of him on the Brexit protocol – a protocol that is needed and a direct result of hard Brexit, the DUP and the conservatives defended.”
Ms O’Neill said: ‘Boris Johnson knows playing protocol is breaking international law and jeopardizing the UK government’s agreement with the EU on their withdrawal and future trading relationship with political and political impact. huge economy.
“The threat of unilateral action by conservatives to legislate and violate international law serves the interests of no one, anywhere and anytime.
“With 40% of his own MPs dissenting in this week’s vote of confidence, he has big choices to make in the interest of his own country and his people.
“But, the absurdity that the people of this island are subjected to this figure of discredit is untenable.
“He runs an anti-Good Friday Accord agenda, which is dishonestly wrapped up in pro-Deal rhetoric.
“Boris Johnson and [Northern Ireland Secretary] Brandon Lewis covers the DUP and let’s be clear – the political stability of the north cannot be held hostage to Tory infighting, the chaos in Westminster and the continued disruption of the DUP.
Ms O’Neill also said that if power sharing could not be restored in Northern Ireland then there should be joint authority between Dublin and London.
She said: “If those elected to serve fail to restore democratic institutions, this is not a case of direct rule from London on the cards, but joint rule from Dublin and London.
“And if the people decide, Sinn Féin hopes to run this government from Dublin.”