Alliance Warns Protocol Legislation 'Contrary To Interests Of NI'

The Alliance Party has warned the UK Government's expected legislation to scrap parts of the NI Protocol would be contrary to the interests of Northern Ireland and of the entire UK.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the Bill, Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry, argued that trust and partnership between the UK and the EU is the key to addressing the remaining challenges with the Protocol, and this approach therefore makes that process much more difficult.

Stephen Farry MP stated: "Sadly, Northern Ireland has become a pawn in the internal politics of the Conservative Party and a one-sided approach to the politics of Northern Ireland. The rationale cited by the Government for the legislation is utterly disingenuous.

"The Government’s approach represents a breach of an international agreement and international law more generally. It also risks retaliation from the European Union that would bring even more pressure on a fragile UK economy.

"The Bill proposals run contrary to the interests of Northern Ireland. It will make the task of addressing the remaining challenges regarding the Protocol much more difficult. Building trust and partnership is key to reaching breakthroughs.
News Image
"Unilateral action, especially around the ultimate jurisdiction of the ECJ, would also compromise Northern Ireland’s current unfettered access to the EU Single Market for goods. Even the ongoing uncertainty exacerbated by this Bill constitutes a deterrent to investment.

"Furthermore, the proposed dual regulatory regime for businesses brings even more bureaucracy and risks compromising access to the Single Market for some goods.

"The Protocol is the product of Brexit. It reflects the choice made by the Government and the DUP for a hard Brexit. While it is not without its challenges, it offers Northern Ireland a soft landing from Brexit.

"There are various steps within the Protocol or through additional agreements with the EU that can soften the impact of the Protocol. A UK-EU Veterinary Agreement would be a key step.

"The slow pace of progress over the past 12 months has been frustrating. Greater flexibility is of course necessary from the EU. However, it is the belligerent and begrudging approach taken by the UK Government which has been the greater obstacle. That is set to get worse.

"By contrast, a clear majority of the electorate, MLAs and the business community favour a pragmatic approach. This confrontational approach is clearly at odds with opinion in Northern Ireland which begs the question as to why it is happening?

"The legislation could only ever be enacted at a huge price for Northern Ireland and the entire UK and ultimately is unlikely to be so. Therefore, it is a dead end and represents a huge waste of time.

"The way forward lies in mutual agreement between the UK and EU around legal and sustainable solutions."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
17 August 2022
UUP Urge Tory Leadership Contenders To Prioritise Protocol
UUP Leader Doug Beattie has called on Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to make dealing the Northern Ireland Protocol a top priority.
20 February 2007
Northern Ireland goes to Washington
Washington DC is to experience Northern Ireland’s arts and culture during a four month programme to promote arts, business, education, food and tourism.

 Around 250 local people will be in Washington taking part in the Rediscover Northern Ireland programme and the Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife Festival.
26 January 2010
Broadcasters Are 'Failing NI', Says Report
There is broad support today to the damning conclusions of this morning's Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report 'TV Broadcasting in Northern Ireland'.
21 July 2010
NI Flying High With Aerospace Boost
Contracts in the aerospace, defence and security sectors are being targeted by Northern Ireland's job creation agency with a major event taking place at the Farnborough Airshow this morning.