EU refuse to end ECJ oversight in Norther Ireland Protocol talks
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The Protocol in place in Northern Ireland has been proving to be problematic for the country in terms of its trade. Checks are being used at the Northern Ireland border through the Protocol, meaning some portions of trade are impacted negatively by this.
Negotiations have been ongoing between the EU and the UK to bring an end to the Protocol – with suggestions from the UK that they may be forced to trigger Article 16.
Either side of the divide can invoke Article 16 if they feel “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties” or the “diversion of trade” has taken place.
But the UK Government has been flirting with the idea of this for months, as an agreement between the UK and the EU seems unlikely in recent weeks.
Tony McGleenan QC told the High Court how the Acts of the Union were “subjugated” and “suspended” by the Protocol.
Mr McGlennan said: “The suggestion that there’s been some shattering of the Union is not sustainable.”
He added: “This concept of legislation being subject to, or subjugated, is by no means unorthodox.
“The first premise is unsound because there’s been no change to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland.”
John Larkin QC, for the unionist group, argued: “Her Majesty’s Government had no power to give a blank check to provisions (that breach) the Act of Union.”
“The concept of suspension, like the accordion of a street musician, goes in and out but is fundamentally at odds with any concept of legal scrutiny.”
Jamie Bryson, an author and commentator, has regularly taken aim at the Government for their handling of Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal.
Mr Bryson had previously written a book entitled ‘Brexit Betrayed – Writings From the Referendum To The Betrayal Act’ which, according to his Twitter account, argues the “betrayal of NI has its roots in the Belfast Agreement & explores how the Brexit deal undermines the sovereignty of the UK”.
He told Express.co.uk: “The position argued by the Government was that the Acts of Union was “subjugated” by the Withdrawal Agreement.
“In short form, Northern Ireland is suspended as a full and integral part of the United Kingdom so long as the Protocol persists.
“That is an incredible proposition to be put forward by any Government.
“The Union is the Acts of Union as a legal construct and the Government now tell us they have subjugated that core constitutional statute beneath the jackboot of the Union-dismantling Protocol.
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“The Protocol is a missile ripping through the heart of the Union.
“With every passing day, NI is further cut off from the rest of the United Kingdom.
“The ‘suspension’ of NI is causing untold damage.
“In any event, our forefathers didn’t not fight and die in two world wars for this country in order to be arbitrarily ‘suspended’ from the Union in order to placate the insatiable demands of our covetous neighbours in the Republic of Ireland and the increasingly expansive EU empire.
“It is the duty of every Conservative and Unionist MP to stand up for the Union.
“End this wicked ‘suspension’, enforced by neither justification of democratic consent, of our people.”
Lady Chief Justice Dame Siobhan Keegan has not yet made a ruling on the dispute currently ongoing in the High Court.
She said: “We will provide a ruling as soon as possible.”
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