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  • Writer's pictureGreg O'Loughlin

Far From Failing, the Protocol Is Working

The DUP claims that Brexit Protocol is undermining the economy and driving up costs. To listen to them you would believe that shop shelves are empty and the people are on the verge of starvation.

There is a cost of living crisis around the world and increasing inflation. Brexit is added to the crisis in Britain. The Protocol has protected the North.

The claim that the protocol is forcing up the cost of living in Northern Ireland is unfounded or exaggerated, according to independent verification.

DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson said that the protocol meant consumers on this side of the Irish Sea were paying "four percent more per item".

FactCheckNI found that over the same period grocery prices in Britain were eight percent higher than in the North. Yes, prices are going up but not as fast as in Britain. The protocol is either having no impact on inflation or could be working and reducing costs relative to Britain.

In a scathing assessment of the DUP leader's claims, FactCheckNI said: "Cherry picking facts to suit a narrative is one of the mainstays of the modern age of mis- and dis-information. Rarely, however, is it quite this brazen."

The DUP has claimed that the protocol added 27 percent to transport costs. The Road Haulage Association said that the biggest increase in costs was due to fuel, ferry, and labor costs.

The verifiers said of the DUP claims of 27% increase due to the Protocol, "There is currently no evidence that this is the case."

In a separate development, a report in the Financial Times found that the economy in the North performed, “better than any other part of the UK”. Historically the North has been one of the worst-performing regions.

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, said it was “plausible that Northern Ireland has done better” because the Protocol allows it to be part of the EU single market.

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