Dominic Raab has warned that problems implementing the Northern Ireland protocol have “imperilled” stability in Northern Ireland, after Sinn Fein claimed a landmark election victory this weekend.
The republican party’s triumph in the assembly election has sparked calls for a referendum on a united Ireland, and the unionist DUP has ruled out serving in a power sharing executive unless checks on goods at the Northern Irish border – a key part of the Northern Ireland Protocol – are scrapped.
The protocol was agreed by Boris Johnson as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement in 2019 and has been a source of major tension between Westminster and Brussels.
Speaking to Sky News’ this morning, the Justice Secretary said the problems implementing the protocol now threatened stability.
“It’s clear from the dynamic that we now see that we won’t get to that position of stability unless and until it is fixed,” Dominic Raab said.
He added that the government will take “whatever measures are necessary” to reform the protocol.
“Nothing is off the table in terms of how we remedy this,” he told Times Radio this morning. “It is obviously preferable if we can do it by negotiation but we rule nothing out.”
Boris Johnson has previously suggested the government could use legislation to “fix” the Northern Ireland protocol, but any move to unilaterally rewrite the deal could spark a major breakdown in relations between Britain and the EU.