The leader of Northern Ireland's DUP says a move towards a border poll is 'divisive and polarising'.
Jeffrey Donaldson was speaking as he warned there will be no return to a power-sharing executive at Stormont after the upcoming election, if there are no changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He told Newstalk Breakfast the Brexit measure is exacerbating the cost of living crisis.
"What is required of us under the protocol is to implement measures that are harmful to Northern Ireland, and actually drive up the cost of living.
"So if you take the first 12 months of the protocol's implementation, the haulage industry in Northern Ireland have produced figures that show that the additional costs brought about by the protocol on moving - for example - food products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland exceeds 27%.
"So that's adding to the cost of food in our supermarkets because, of course, those haulage costs get added on to the price of food and other products.
"The protocol is contributing to the cost of living crisis in Northern Ireland, and therefore we need to deal with the protocol.
"We're not prepared to implement the protocol through the executive that harms the Northern Ireland economy".
'I want to win'
He says a move towards a border poll is also an issue.
"The reasons that I have given for forming an executive - or what is required to form an executive - is about the removal of the protocol.
"But I've also warned, and Sinn Féin have been pushing an agenda to promote a border poll.
"We saw the huge advertisements in American newspapers, demanding a border poll - it's clear that is Sinn Féin's agenda.
"And I'm simply saying that such a situation would be divisive and it would be polarising."
Asked if he would have a difficulty being Deputy First Minister if Sinn Féin becomes the largest party, he says he is not thinking in those terms.
"Like every political party that enters an election, I want to win the election, I'm not contemplating defeat.
"What party political leader goes into an election and talks about defeat? I'm not going to do that, I'm not going to play that agenda.
"I'm very clear: the DUP wants to win the election, we're encouraging unionists to come out and vote."
A poll by the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool found the DUP is seven points behind Sinn Féin with a month to go to the election.
And on changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol, Mr Donaldson says goods that are only going into Northern Ireland and no further should not have to be checked.
"For example, Sainsbury supermarkets across Northern Ireland stock food products coming from Great Britain.
"There are no Sainsbury supermarkets in the Republic of Ireland, so those goods are staying in Northern Ireland.
"They don't need checks, they do not need customs declarations - yet that's what happening at the moment".