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Do not tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol, urges Theresa May

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JHeresa May has urged Boris Johnson not to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol as she called on Boris Johnson to address Northern Ireland reforms in the Queen’s Speech ‘with sensitivity’.

“What’s important is that people who lost loved ones during the Troubles and the majority of those losses will have been at the hands of terrorists…are able to experience that feeling of first understanding what happened and to be able to know what happened, and they’re going to want to be able to feel a sense of closure that they haven’t been able to see in so many years.”

Noting the lack of reference to triggering Article 16, Ms May told Mr Johnson: ‘I don’t think that would be the right decision for the government. I think the government needs to consider not just some immediate problems, but also of the wider sense of what such a sentiment would say about the United Kingdom and its willingness to respect the treaties it has signed.

“I presented to this House an agreement which in fact met the requirements of the Good Friday Agreement and in effect allowed us to have no border along the Irish Sea or to have a border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Sadly the DUP and others across this House have chosen to miss it, but it was such an opportunity for this [they] sought.”

She also said the government should “move forward” on building regulations “to ensure that we now adopt the standards that will be needed to achieve net zero”.

“We are still seeing new homes being built with gas boilers, and these will be retrofitted in a few years. And so wouldn’t it make more sense to ensure that the regulations ensure that we actually take the steps now to net zero?”

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