UK and Northern Irish unions slam decision to suspend protocol arrangements
The TUC and NIC-ICTU have today (Monday) issued a joint statement to condemn the UK government’s “reckless” decision to unilaterally suspend its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The union federations warn the decision will threaten the peace process in Northern Ireland and lead to a potentially damaging trade war.
Commenting on the new legislation, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“It says everything about ministers’ warped priorities that in the middle of a cost-of-living emergency, they announce legislation that could provoke a trade war and cause prices to skyrocket further.
“Working people must not pay the price for this reckless move.
“The government must drop this bill, honour the agreement they signed up to and put practical solutions ahead of posturing.
“Ministers need to get back around the table with the EU as soon as possible and come to an agreement that protects jobs, rights and the Good Friday Agreement.
“The government must show that it respects international agreements to repair its now-trashed reputation as a trading partner.”
ICTU Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy said:
“We all accept that there are practical issues with the protocol that must be addressed in the interests of all of the people of Northern Ireland.
However, the only credible way to do this is for the UK government to start to engage with the EU in good faith, as opposed to taking unilateral action which makes an agreement on the implementation of any protocol more challenging and difficult.”
The full joint statement from the TUC and NIC-ICTU reads:
We are deeply concerned that the UK government has stated an intention to unilaterally suspend its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Trade unions played a critical role in the development of the Good Friday Agreement – but the government’s actions now threaten peace.
It is essential that the Good Friday Agreement is protected.
This reckless action also risks provoking a trade war with the EU.
In the middle of cost-of-living crisis, it is appalling for the UK government to suggest it will take actions that could see prices skyrocket even further.
Working people must not pay the price of the government’s reckless actions.
UK ministers must honour the international agreement they signed and put practical solutions ahead of ideological posturing.
They need to get back around the table with the EU as soon as possible and come to an agreement that protects jobs, livelihoods and the Good Friday Agreement.
And they must act in good faith to repair the UK’s reputation as a trading partner.
Want to hear about our latest news and blogs?
Sign up now to get it straight to your inbox
To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).