There is no Executive agreement on Brexit, but the appearance of Maroš Šefcovic at the Committee was a positive development. It is really important that he hears at first hand that the DUP does not speak for the North on Brexit or the protocol. On the EU's part, it shows positive intent that it is prepared to come to the Assembly to listen to our locally elected representatives and hear the reassertion of our continued support for the pragmatic implementation of the protocol and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement. His contribution today demonstrates the constructive approach of the EU to mitigating the negative effects of Brexit on the island of Ireland.
We can never forget that we have the protocol because we have Brexit, which was not our wish and was imposed on us. The protocol is necessary to provide the protections that businesses, farmers, retailers and manufacturers need. Together, we need to put our efforts into ensuring delivery of the protocol, as agreed, maximising the advantage to businesses here of unfettered access to British and EU markets and making sure that we work to iron out the issues that need to be resolved because we have to deal with the consequences of the Brexit that we neither wanted nor voted for.