The new leader of the Democratic Unionist Party has said that the protocol has harmed Northern Ireland's relationship with Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

In his first television interview since taking up the post, Jeffrey Donaldson said that the protocol has undermined and destabilised relationships within Northern Ireland itself.

He said it is "imperative for all of us to resolve the issues" and that he is not accepting that it cannot be done or there are no solutions.

"I'm not going to contemplate failure," he added.

Mr Donaldson said that Northern Ireland risks losing out on economic opportunities because of the Brexit border in the Irish Sea.

The DUP leader said he believes that there are "opportunities going forward but we can't get to those opportunities because of these unnecessary barriers".

He said: "Much of our supply chain comes from Great Britain, whether you are a consumer buying goods in the supermarket or a business relying on component parts for your manufacturing process.

"We need to fix that supply chain problem, we need to restore Northern Ireland's place within the UK, both the market and constitutionally.

"If we can do that then, yes, we will see the opportunities that will flow, providing we can find practical solutions on trade with the EU."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said the British government must do more to work in partnership with the EU over the protocol as opposed to "blaming [the EU] every second week".

Earlier this week, the EU agreed to grant a three-month extension to the grace period for chilled meats entering Northern Ireland from Britain, and to change EU legislation in order to ensure there is an undisrupted supply of medicines into Northern Ireland.

Speaking to RTÉ's This Week programme, Mr Coveney said the EU had shown "generosity" and "flexibility" in its approach to co-operation with the UK. But this was not being reciprocated by the British government.

"Many in the EU are interpreting the UK response as essentially saying 'concessions don't matter'", he said.

He said the Irish Government and the European Commission are working towards making the protocol work and, even in granting a concession on the issue of chilled meats, the UK had asked for more.

"What needs to happen here is the EU and the UK have to work in partnership," Mr Coveney said.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that EU leaders have shown good faith in extending the grace period for the Northern Ireland Protocol, adding that it was time for Britain to "reciprocate that generosity of spirit that EU leaders have shown".

He said that "there is a way" for sustainable solution, which he said was within the Withdrawal Agreement that the UK government signed up to.