I raise the question today of what happened in Brussels with the Irish protocol. I fully understand the Government does not want to make a song and dance about this that would be harmful to Ireland's interests. There must nonetheless be accountability for this. It is not an oversight, which was a description used on the radio today. It was not just a blunder. It was a deliberate insertion in a draft regulation of a provision that was legally unstatable, aggressive and undermining in its very thought process. The idea that the Irish Government was going to stop trucks going across the Border to check if a vaccine was on board was absurd.
It is not enough to say this will not happen again.
Who was responsible for it? If it was a lawyer, as we are being told, that lawyer cannot have read annex 7 to the protocol agreement and cannot have read Article 16 itself, which talks about a serious and lasting effect on trade in the community. It was a deliberate piece of panic-stricken foot stamping put into a document.
There is a problem that this was not noticed at Commission level. I heard Commissioner McGuinness say that it was not drawn to her attention. She has a cabinet and we have to know who was aware of this and why was it not stopped because it has done very serious damage to those who support the protocol and those who support an open border on this island.