UUP leader calls on PM to either remove medicines from protocol or to trigger Article 16

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Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie

By Q Radio News

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie has called on Boris Johnson to either remove medicines from the Northern Ireland Protocol or trigger article 16.

He believes EU proposals to fix the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland are not good enough.

The British Generic Manufacturers Association believes the EU's plan is misconceived and says while the grace period continues there won't be a problem.

Mr Beattie said, “It has become patently obvious that EU proposals to fix the debacle created by the Protocol over the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland are not good enough.

Time is running out fast and it needs fixed in double quick time.

“The best way round this is to immediately implement the UK Government’s proposal in its Command Paper and remove medicines from the Protocol completely." 

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie 

Mr Beattie continued, “The British Generic Manufacturers Association has stated that the EU’s plan to fix the problems won’t work.

"Pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Republic of Ireland say that the Protocol could destabilise the supply of medicines there and yet the EU still seem determined to plough on at a snail`s pace with proposals which the pharmaceutical industry have warned them just won’t work.

“Northern Ireland can’t wait any longer. I would appeal to the EU to smooth the path for the immediate removal of medicines from the Protocol.

"If they refuse, then the UK Government has unequivocal grounds to take action and activate Article 16. Health should be prioritised over EU rules, the Protocol and political stubbornness.

“I have raised this issue surrounding medicines with the EU and the UK Government as well as other political leaders over the last week as we continue to look for solutions to the Protocol.”

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