DUP panel on Brexit deal has completed its work, says Donaldson

A DUP-commissioned panel to assess Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal has completed its work, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said.

The DUP leader said the body had completed its work and that he and senior members of the party would now discuss it.

The unionist party, which is continuing to boycott the Stormont powersharing institutions, has so far maintained its opposition to the Windsor Framework agreement brokered between London and Brussels.

Sir Jeffrey had set up a panel to study the new framework against its seven tests before reaching a collective conclusion.

On Friday, he said: “Earlier this month, I commissioned an eight-person panel to consult widely as to the impact of Windsor Framework arrangements upon Northern Ireland and its ability to trade with the rest of the United Kingdom.

“I am delighted that a significant number of businesses, individuals and organisations participated fully and shared their perspectives.

“Having taken receipt of the report, I thank the panel for their dedicated efforts and will now take time to discuss the report with my party officer team.”

Downing Street has continued to defend the deal against DUP and Conservative backbench criticism.

Earlier this month MPs voted in favour of regulations to implement the Stormont brake, a key part of the Windsor agreement, despite the opposition.

The agreement has also been formally signed off with the EU.