Alex Easton MLA has today warned that unless all Unionist parties come together and agree an electoral pact for the 2022 NI Assembly Elections it will be difficult to remove the NI Protocol.

Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said.

“ In my own opinion there are only two realistic ways to remove the NI Protocol, one is to convince the Prime Minister to remove, or to use the only mechanism available to Unionism though a vote in the NI Assembly which would require Unionism to have a majority. Looking at the current mathematics on the makeup of the NI Assembly which has 90 MLAs there are 40 Unionist which is 6 short of a majority. 46 is the magic number for Unionism to get rid of the NI Protocol.”

“Unionism can achieve this feat as there are possible extra seats such as Lagan Valley, North Belfast, South Belfast, North Down, South Antrim that an extra Unionist MLA seat could be won even in the likes of West Belfast were there could be a Unionist seat if only more Unionists registered to vote and could be motivated to get out and vote in large numbers. Even in recent Lucid Polling 85% of Alliance votes believe that the NI Protocol will affect Northern Ireland constitutional future, are people who have voted for the Alliance Party going to continue to vote for the Alliance Party who support the NI Protocol that threatens the Union ?”

“Unionism has an opportunity to stop this and with the NI Assembly election in 2022 there is a window of opportunity for all Unionisms political leaders to agree an election pact that we can all sing from the same hymn sheet. It will require all political leaders to put differences aside for the common good. It will require egos and sacrifices from all political parties to be put aside and a monumental effort to get Unionists onto the electoral register and to work hand in hand together to get people out to vote, and to not run too many candidates shredding the vote, and ensuring Unionism transfers its votes between unionism and not other parties. Whether you are a Unionist or Nationalist the reality is the NI Protocol affects all our lives for the worse, it affects businesses and the flow of goods into Northern Ireland and makes us a poorer society as a result, surly Nationalist as well as Unionists can’t be happy with this? There will be an opportunity for this to be stopped but it depends on Unionism uniting and selling a positive united front and that is a big if.”