Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Northern Ireland, Lesley Veronica has broadly welcomed the changes to the Protocol as outlined in the Windsor Framework.

Speaking on the same day that the DUP indicated that they would vote against the "Stormont Brake" during a Westminster debate and vote this Wednesday (22 March), Lesley Veronica described the Windsor Framework as going a long way to address the issues that had emerged with the Protocol arrangements. 

“The Windsor Framework has gone a long way to address the trade issues within the UK internal market by reducing the regulatory burden for many businesses and increasing exemptions.

“I'm particularly happy to see that medicines can now be moved freely from GB to NI avoiding the prospect of over 900 medicines becoming unavailable to our local health service.

“There is still some work to be done in the area of veterinary medicine however the new tone of cooperation coming from the European Union and the UK government makes me more confident that outstanding technical issues will be resolved through the mechanism of the Joint Committee."

Directly addressing the "Stormont Brake" mechanism, Lesley Veronica said:

“The addition of the ‘Stormont Brake’ should provide reassurance to those concerned about the lack of local input moving forward. Sufficiently rigorous in its application it can avoid the abuse that has been seen with the Petition of Concern while still allowing ample opportunities for local stakeholders and politicians to raise concerns and have their input considered.

“Of course this can all only work if we have an operating Assembly and Executive so let’s hope this is the first step to a functioning government as we move into the Spring and the 25 anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.”