Arlene Foster urged Boris Johnson to take “action” to change the Northern Ireland protocol, saying it was doing “real harm” to the UK federation.
The protocol, which has been heavily criticized by trade unionists in Northern Ireland, was signed as part of the United Kingdom and the European Union Brixi Deal.
They are the places northern Ireland In the EU customs area to maintain open borders on the island of Ireland and protect the European Union single market.
But she was speaking outside Downing Street before her last meeting with her Boris Johnson As first secretary, Arlene Foster noted that the arrangement is inflaming tensions in Northern Ireland and “narrowing the common ground”.
Boris Johnson and Brexit Minister Lord Frost praised it, but said it was time for them to do more than just release statements.
“Both the Prime Minister and Lord Frost have been listening and making some very good statements, but now we need to see the actions and we need to see the actions very soon.
“This is really hurting Northern Ireland in terms of our trade and also in terms of the union, so the prime minister needs to act, and I hope Lord Frost makes proposals very, very soon.”
In response to a question whether this meant invoking Article 16 of the Protocol, which allows either party to unilaterally suspend parts of the Convention, Ms. Foster did not rule out this possibility.
“We said all the time that when the European Commission tried to implement Article 16 at the end of January, the Europeans were very happy to do so with regard to vaccines.
“Every day that the Protocol is implemented it does more damage to Northern Ireland, in terms of our business relationship with our biggest partner in Great Britain, and of course the Union also hurts.
“My real concern as I turn out is actually narrowing down the common ground in Northern Ireland – and that’s a real concern.”
Last month, Arlene Foster announced her resignation as leader of the Federal Democratic Party and first minister, following mounting criticism within her party over her handling of the protocol.
When asked if she feels any remorse for Boris Johnson’s leadership of supporting the Conservative Party and Brexit, she said: “You have to separate Brexit and the protocol – the protocol is hurting Northern Ireland.
“I used to believe in Brexit because I thought we needed to leave the European Union and all the strict rules that were in place to allow us to be more flexible and have a place in the world.
“But if the UK is to have a new place in the world, then Northern Ireland has to be a part of that – and at the moment, we are not because of the protocol.”