Northern Ireland Protocol Latest

Proposed legislation to unilaterally change the Northern Ireland Protocol in the UK, which forms part of the UK’s Brexit agreement with the EU, is continuing to make it’s way through Parliament even whilst Boris Johnson acts as a caretaker Prime Minister.

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill aims to fix parts of the Protocol by, amongst other proposals, introducing a green and red lane, which would require companies transporting goods to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK to only present “ordinary commercial information”. Currently they are required to produce customs declarations and agri-food certificates. Businesses selling goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would be required to become part of a Trusted Trader Scheme.

The legislation has already faced tough scrutiny in the House of Commons, but is expected to face even tougher scrutiny when it reaches the House of Lords.

UK leadership candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have not indicated that they will oppose the legislation, on the contrary Rishi Sunak, in a meeting with the European Research Group (ERG), Sunak set about reassuring the group that he will allow the bill to pass without seeking to make amendments, this is despite his opposition to the bill whilst chancellor.

Despite these reassurances the ERG are believed to be swaying towards supporting Liz Truss who as Foreign Secretary introduced the protocol bill in June 2022, saying that the original protocol created difficulties with the supply of goods to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, and threatens to undermine the 19998 Good Friday Agreement with the unionist DUP party in Northern Ireland refusing to return to, Stormont, the seat of Northern Irish Government, following a defeat in the recent Northern Ireland elections.

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