Democratic Unionist Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson has been more vocal with his criticism of the UK-EU agreement on making post-Brexit trade rules work in Northern Ireland. Yesterday, there was a statement as Donaldson began four days of difficult diplomacy in Washington, where the DUP has few if any allies, in the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day festivities at the White House. The Biden administration has emphasized it wants Donaldson to end his party’s obstruction of power-sharing, the core goal of Northern Ireland’s US-brokered peace deal achieved on Good Friday a quarter-century ago.
However, Donaldson stated that the Windsor Framework — jointly unveiled last month by UK Prime Minister Sunak and European Commission President Von der Leyen ‘does not deal with some of the fundamental problems” and will “require further clarification, re-working and change’ .
Donaldson’s words do leave room for the DUP’s eventual acquiescence, if not acceptance, of a painstakingly negotiated London-Brussels deal that seeks to minimize EU-required checks on British goods as they arrive in Northern Irish ports.