Northern Ireland Protocol LIVE updated as NI meeting convenes amid tensions DUP and Sinn Fein

Alliance party leader Naomi Long said the DUP’s announcement is “frustrating”

“It is extremely frustrating, as members of society, that we will not have formed a government, that we will not even have a meeting where the basics can be done, such as scrutinizing ministers who are still in office.. It’s an incredibly frustrating position we’re in,” she told BBC Radio Ulster.

Ms Long said the DUP had “significantly fewer votes” than the other parties combined in favor of a return to government, the PA reports.

She also warned DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson not to “overplay his hand” in negotiations with the British government over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“If you play with fire you will burn yourself. We saw this with Brexit where the DUP had influence – they overplayed their hand and ended up with the mess we are in now and they are now asking us all to fix it,” she said.

“They are playing with fire again because the institutions in Northern Ireland cannot survive the way they are being abused.

“The people who need these institutions most and who need stability in Northern Ireland are union members, so I would warn Sir Jeffrey against the assumption that in new elections there will be willing partners to advance in government or even willing people to a further election.

“We just had an election. It’s up to all of us to accept the outcome and make sure it works. That’s our job as politicians.

“I think the DUP is playing a very dangerous game with the institutions and with the future of Northern Ireland.”

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