A DUP MP told the House of Commons it is “no surrender” over the Northern Ireland protocol amid calls from the party to scrap it completely. 

DUP MP Paul Girvan was speaking after the Foreign Secretary’s statement in the House of Commons, where she unveiled plans to table legislation in parliament which would allow parts of the Brexit agreement to be overwritten.

There is now a stalemate in Northern Ireland between the two biggest parties, Sinn Fein and the DUP, over entering into a power sharing agreement after the nationalist party returned the highest vote share and was allowed to nominate a First Minister.

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The DUP however, have refused to engage or nominate a speaker until issues around the protocol are resolved, which led to Liz Truss’s statement.

During a questioning session for MPs, Girvan asked Truss if she would be giving her statement if the DUP had “given in and set up an executive?”

He continued: “Would we be at this position where we have got to start, I call this a start, to try to redress some of the problems we have with the Northern Ireland protocol?”

He continued: “Many people within Northern Ireland are seeing the protocol as the introduction of a surrender act for Northern Ireland to become part of an all-Ireland economy.

“And that has created its own difficulties, and many people [are] focused on things to do with veterinary medicine and to do with food, but it affects every aspect of our economy.

“But mainly, I'm really worried about the constitutional position and the message that has [been] given to Northern Ireland.

“Those who [have] seen it as a surrender act. I'm telling you today it is no surrender.”

The term “no surrender” derives from the Siege of Derry in 1689, and is a song associated with unionism, particularly in Northern Ireland.

It is directed at opposition to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), particularly during the Troubles.

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In Scotland, the song is popular amongst Rangers FC fans.

The Foreign Secretary in reply to Girvan said: “There are fundamental issues that have been exposed since the protocol came into being that have damaged the east-west relationship for Northern Ireland, which is a key tenet of the Good Friday Agreement.

“These issues will have to be fixed otherwise they will be a running sore.”

It comes as fellow DUP MP Ian Paisley accused the EU of a “power grab” following the Foreign Secretary’s statement.

He said: “This is power grab. People talk about trade war. This is a trade war to crush business in Northern Ireland. Will the Foreign Secretary ensure that whenever she is speaking to the Cabinet, that they know clearly that if they keep the protocol, power sharing isn’t coming back?”

Truss said the Government’s proposed new Bill would “deal with the bureaucracy that we are seeing”, adding the Government was “open” to talks over a “negotiated settlement” in the meantime.