Sinn F in Northern Ireland accuses Johnson of playing games with Ireland

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Sinn F in Northern Ireland accuses Johnson of playing games with Ireland

The leader of Sinn F in has accused Boris Johnson of playing games with Ireland and using it as a pawn in the UK's ongoing trade battle with the EU ahead of the prime minister's visit on Monday.

Johnson is due to meet in Belfast on Monday for talks after the Democratic Unionist party DUP blocked the election of a speaker in the Stormont assembly, a week after Sinn F won the election.

Johnson is going to hold talks with politicians in Northern Ireland, but the Sinn F leader, Mary Lou McDonald, said he was in cahoots with the DUP in order to stop a new executive and assembly sitting.

A new administration can't be formed under Stormont rules without the largest unionist party taking part.

McDonald said that it was part of a game of brinkmanship with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol and post-Brexit trading agreements.

She said he had connived with the DUP to use Ireland, the north of Ireland, to use unionism in Ireland as a pawn in a wider game that is being played out with the European Union.

It is a shameful tactic and approach that is absolutely not acceptable.

We are not one bit naive as to what is going on here. It is clear that the DUP is in cahoots with the DUP to stall and hold back progress, to frustrate the will of the people as expressed in the election and to anyone who calls themselves a democrat is clearly unacceptable and clearly shameful. That case will be made to Boris Johnson. The DUP, now Northern Ireland's second party, opposes the protocol because it means checks on goods passing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It allows the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic to remain open, in line with the Good Friday agreement.

The checks have resulted in delays for businesses.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, said a very clear message needs to be sent to the UK government and the EU.

On Friday, former Brexit minister David Frost joined calls to scrap parts of the protocol. It is believed that the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, could announce plans for legislation next week that would disapply some of the protocol. He said that the UK should not fear a trade war with the EU.

McDonald said: We've been here before. The process of leaving and the ratification of the protocol was thrown out by the British government.

They have not acted in good faith, they have consistently threatened to act and unilaterally acted.

Let s just be clear, the protocol is going nowhere, the protocol is a necessary outworking of the Brexit, for which the DUP and the Tory party campaigned.

The British government can't use Ireland as a pawn, we won't be collateral damage in the negotiations. The DUP lost three seats in the election, and its refusal to elect a speaker was criticised by Sinn F in the leader of Northern Ireland, Michelle O Neill. The resignation of the first minister, Paul Givan, was the cause of the collapse of the previous executive.

She said that the British government has aided the DUP in blocking tactics and this needs to stop. We will make that clear to him when we meet Mr Johnson on Monday.