Pi News –
The DUP is set for a crunch meeting on Monday as its party leader briefs senior members of the UK government’s proposals to end Stormont’s devolution deadlock.
The DUP has been using its veto to block Stormont’s devolved institutions for two years in protest at post-Brexit trade deals that have created barriers to trade between the UK and Northern Ireland.
The party engaged in protracted negotiations with the British government aimed at securing concessions on agreements that would resolve its trade and sovereignty issues.
It looks like the time for the DUP to make a final call on the UK government’s proposed measures is nearing.
On Friday, members of the DUP’s 130-strong party executive were invited to a short meeting on Monday at 7pm.
The party leader, Sir Geoffrey Donaldson, will provide “detailed information on the current political situation” at the meeting, which will be held at an as yet undisclosed location in Northern Ireland, the invitation said.
If Mr Donaldson insists on accepting the government’s proposals and returning to Stormont, he is expected to face stiff opposition from some allies both inside and outside his own party.
They believe that the boycott should only be ended once all the economic barriers created by the Northern Ireland Protocol of Brexit and the subsequent Windsor Framework are removed.
While the UK government’s proposed deal aims to reduce the red tape associated with the agreements and offer additional measures to strengthen GB-NI relations, they undermine the protocol and framework agreed by the EU and the UK. does not bring
In an impassioned speech at Westminster last week, Mr Donaldson said he had received threats amid rumors of an impending deal. The DUP reported the incidents to the police.
On Sunday, Sinn Féin called on the DUP to abandon its “endless merry-go-round” of the Stormont boycott and return to a devolution of powers.
Senior party TD Piers Doherty said it was time for the DUP to make a decision.
“We have been here too many times, there have been too many false dawns when it comes to the DUP and the DUP really needs to end this blockade of the Assembly and people have to accept the truth in the Assembly elections (in May 2022) . voted for change and the dynamic in the north is changing and has changed,” he told RTÉ.
“We’ve got to get off this endless merry-making, haven’t we?”
He added: “They absolutely have to jump, but the British government has to stop helping them, they have told us that the talks are over.
“And they (the DUP) need to go back to the Assembly. There is nothing else to say.”
On Friday, senior DUP MP and former party leader Edwin Poots hit out at fellow Unionists who accused his party of “betrayal”.
He said his party had received important concessions from the UK government.
“Why have we done what we’ve done for the last two years and come back with nothing, and people need to think about that,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.
On Saturday, Conservative Party leader Jim Allister, one of those who called on the DUP to maintain the blockade, called on opponents of post-Brexit trade deals to stand firm.
“Unionism is facing a defining moment,” he said. “It is a moment of decision that will shape the course of Northern Ireland for years to come.
“Either NI will be forced out of the UK by the Unionists implementing the Protocol, a template designed for this purpose, or unionism will hold the line and refuse to let its hand destroy itself.
“This is a very important decision that trumps questions of party loyalty.”
He added: “If the worst happens and the DUP gives up the fight, everyone who sees the issues needs to stand together.”