Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Northern Ireland: unionists take legal action against Brexit protocol


Posted on Feb 22, 2019 2021 at 14:54Updated Feb 22, 2019 2021 at 15:59

Clearly, the Irish unionists do not digest the new status in which the post-Brexit treaty on relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union has locked them. On Sunday, Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, announced his intention to bring to justice the protocol on Northern Ireland bitterly negotiated between London and Brussels as part of the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Since its entry into force on January 1, trade has been disrupted between the north of the island of Ireland and the rest of the kingdom and the protocol has been singled out. “ We have considered a number of legal avenues and will join other Unionists across the UK in legal proceedings to challenge the protocol », Explains the head of DUP in a press release.

No consent

According to Arlene Foster, this protocol is not compatible with several fundamental texts among which the “Act of Union 1800”, concluded with Great Britain, which provides for unhindered trade throughout the United Kingdom, and the agreement of Good Friday of 1998, which ended three decades of violence in the region.

« Unhindered trade across the UK is a fundamental part of the Act of Union “, She underlines, considering that the North Irish have not expressed their consent to the new rules of the trade game between Northern Ireland and Great Britain:” Neither the Assembly of Northern Ireland, nor the Executive of Northern Ireland nor the people of Northern Ireland have consented to either the protocol being put in place or the flow of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland is hampered by checks Said Arlene Foster.

« The opinions of unionists will not be put aside, nor our concerns silenced “, She again warned.

Inspections and declarations

Under the terms of the protocol, which is part of the agreement on the future relationship between London and Brussels, Northern Ireland remains in the European customs union and single market to avoid reestablishing a hard border between Northern Ireland. North and the Republic of Ireland, point of friction during three bloody decades between Unionists and Republicans which ended in 1998. But this had the consequence of introducing controls, certifications, inspections and declarations on goods shipped from Grande -Brittany, which fueled the anger of the inhabitants that the DUP fears having to face during the next legislative elections scheduled on the spot in 2022.

The political group has sought legal advice from experts in constitutional law to bring several potential appeals to the high courts in Belfast and London against the government.

Not a good strategy

Not all parties in Northern Ireland support this initiative. SDLP nationalist leader Colum Eastwood believes that “ DUP’s lawsuit against the Northern Irish protocol will only further entrenchthe deleterious political climate while creating additional uncertainty for people and businesses “. The Sinn Fein nationalists insist that nothing should threaten the free flow of commerce on the island of Ireland.

« This is not very good for the DUP who complains about the protocol all the time. It’s not a strategy to win an election, judge for his part Jon Tonge a professor of political science at the University of Liverpool, quoted by the “Financial Times”. ” The DUP must offer a positive vision of union with Great Britain. Lamenting the consequences of a Brexit they backed is not going to be enough as a political strategy. »



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