The Northern Ireland DUP is blocking the county’s new legislature

The Northern Ireland DUP is blocking the county’s new legislature

Democratic Union Party (DUP) leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson arrives in Stormont’s Parliament for a press conference after meeting with the Foreign Secretary for Northern Ireland to form a power-sharing government in Belfast, North Rhine-Westphalia. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne

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BELFAST, May 13 (Reuters) – The Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland blocked the re-establishment of a power-sharing administration in the British countryside on Friday when the newly elected members of the Convention first met in Stormont Hall.

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson told reporters that his party had decided not to support the presidential election until the British government and the European Union resolved issues surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol governing post-Brexit trade in the region.

British government ministers have repeatedly stated that the European Union must make concessions on the protocol in order to win the union community. Irish officials responded that a clear majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly generally supported the protocol.

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Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Peace Accord, which largely ended three decades of sectarian bloodshed in the region, nationalists and trade unionists must agree on a speaker before electing an inter-communal government.

The DUP decision means that the Assembly could not discuss the appointment of a First Minister and a First Deputy Minister. The party had already said it would block the formation of an executive.

In a symbolic breakthrough for Irish nationalism, Sinn Féin replaced the DUP last week as the largest party in the region since the election.

In a statement posted on the DUP website, Donaldson said trade union concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol were not just a political dispute, calling the protocol “a direct challenge to the principles underpinning any agreement reached in the North. years. “

When Britain left the EU, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to a pact that effectively left Northern Ireland within the EU single market and customs union, due to its open borders with EU member Ireland.

This created a customs border at sea between the rest of the UK and the county, which pro-British communities in Northern Ireland say is eroding their position in the UK. Britain now says the bureaucracy required is unbearable.

Michelle O’Neill, leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, said the DUP, which has backed Britain’s exit from the EU, was punishing the public with its actions.

“They are shamefully holding the public as a ransom for their Brexit mess,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Today is the day we need to form an Executive to put money in people’s pockets and start fixing our health services.”

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Report by Amanda Ferguson in Belfast and Graham Fahy in Dublin. editing by Toby Chopra and Frank Jack Daniel

Our role models: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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