Donald Trump has said the impasse over post-Brexit trade in Northern Ireland will be a “tough one” to resolve but insisted “we have to work it out”.
The former US president commented on the deadlock at Stormont as he spoke to reporters on arrival at his Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare on Wednesday evening.
Asked by the PA news agency for his view on efforts to resolve the long-running issue, Mr Trump said: “Well we’re going to see, they’re negotiating and we’re going to see, there are a lot of negotiations going on in Ireland and other places right now, but it’s going be a tough one.
“It’s not an easy one. We have to work it out.”
The protocol was agreed by the UK and the EU to ensure a free-flowing Irish land border after Brexit.
It did that by creating new regulatory and customs checks on the movement of goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.
Many unionists are vehemently opposed to arrangements they contend have undermined Northern Ireland’s place within the UK.
The Windsor Framework recently struck by London and Brussels sought to reduce red tape on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
The DUP has said the new accord does not go far enough to address its concerns around sovereignty and the application of EU law in Northern Ireland.
The party insists it will not return to powersharing at Stormont until it secures further assurances from the London Government on Northern Ireland’s place within the UK internal market.