A new report published today by Queen’s University Belfast shows that trust in the UK Government’s ability to advocate in the best interests of Northern Ireland with respect to the Protocol has dropped to an all time low, at just 3%.
Northern Ireland business representatives continue to be the only actors who enjoy the trust of a majority of respondents (56%) in managing Northern Ireland’s interests with respect to the Protocol.
This comes as the Prime Minister’s plan to get a deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol over the line this week has suffered a setback as further talks with Brussels failed to reach an agreement.
Senior government sources are now reporting that a deal is unlikely to be struck until next week at the earliest. Despite bubbling frustrations from within the hard-Brexiter wing of the Conservative Party, Sunak will need to defy his ERG colleagues to secure a deal over the coming week.
Naomi Smith, CEO of Best for Britain, said:
“Even in the context of Northern Ireland, these findings are staggering and highlight just how abysmally successive Conservative Prime Ministers have treated Northern Ireland since the 2016 referendum.
“After years of treating NI like a political football, the Prime Minister must now do the right thing. He must face down the implacable minority in his party who are hell bent on blocking progress and deliver a negotiated settlement with the EU.”