top of page

NI Protocol: What we learned from Liz Truss this week.

The UK wishes to implement an A La Carte NI Protocol. "Have Your Cake And Eat It, Too" is back. Will it work this time?

Brussels and London are at odds once more after London pledged legislation allowing ministers to violate parts of the Brexit protocol aimed at preserving Northern Ireland's peace.

Following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, the Northern Ireland Protocol kept Northern Ireland in the single market in order to avoid a land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss updated the House of Commons on 17 May 2022 on the government’s intention to introduce legislation to make changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

She lamented in particular that "the Protocol has not yet been implemented in full due to the operation of grace periods and easements. However, EU customs procedures for moving goods within the UK have already meant companies are facing significant costs and paperwork. Some businesses have stopped this trade altogether". Two Key Problems: Tax and Food Safety She believes that the East-West relationship has been weakened because of two sets of practical issues:

In the first place, due to taxation rules, residents of Northern Ireland do not have the same opportunities as those in the rest of the UK to save money, including, apparently on solar panels! Yes, I am shocked,too. Second, SPS is a big problem. According to Liz Truss, these controls mean that food producers in Northern Ireland face onerous restrictions, such as veterinary certification.

But it's more than that.... However, these two issues are not the undelying issues, she says. Tax issues and SPS complications suddenly have become so important that because of it, there is now no Executive in Northern Ireland. This is because Unionists in Northern Ireland refuse to join a power-sharing government until the protocol is renegotiated.

As a result, peace in Northern Ireland is in jeopardy. So, in Mr. Truss' opinion, even if Tax and SPS and other issues can be resolved, the UK will not be able to re-establish the Executive and preserve the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast without changing the Protocol.

She sees her role as restoring the Northern Ireland Agreement's skewed balance. Negotiation is preferred, at least in speeches She reiterated her desire to come to an agreement with the EU through negotiation. In order to achieve this, the UK has worked tirelessly and will continue to work hard.

A solution - at last: A green lane The United Kingdom has come up with a comprehensive and reasonable solution to meet the Protocol's goals. A new trusted trader scheme is to ensure that goods intended for Northern Ireland do not enter the European Union Single Market. She believes that this would meet both the UKs and the EU's original goals for the Protocol.

Change the Protocol, or else... But: In order for this solution to be implemented, the Protocol must be rewritten, at least in parts. The problem: The EU's mandate does not allow the Protocol to be changed.

As a result, the EU's current proposals are unable to address the core issues the UK faces. What the UK would keep in the NI Protocol: - Common Travel Area (CTA), - the single electricity market (SEM), - North-South cooperation provisions What will be scrapped: - VAT rules - Customs provisions - Subsidies arrangements Then, Northern Irelanders will enjoy the same rights and privileges as British citizens.

A green channel for GB and NI products to flow through. Under new UK proposals, Northern Ireland will be able to use a new "green channel" to avoid customs checks and declarations for goods that remain in Northern Ireland. This makes sense from the perspective of the UK's internal market and customs territory. There should be no border or customs declaration in an internal market or customs union. Goods for the EU continue to be subject to UK Customs Inspections. At the same time, EU-bound goods would still be subject to customs checks in the UK. All goods travelling from the United Kingdom to the European Union via Northern Ireland must go through full EU inspections and controls. Data-sharing agreements will be part of this. A new dual regulatory standard for businesses The UK will soon propse a bill that remove obstacles to the sale of goods made in the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland.

At its core, businesses will be able to choose between UK and EU standards in a new dual regulatory framework.

Penalties As part of the EU Single Market safeguards, the UK will impose harsh penalties on those who misuse the new system. Powers of Implementation There will be explicit authority in the Bill to put into effect a new, revised Protocol despite concerns that will be against international law.

Should the US suspend a FTA with the UK because of Brexit's NorthernIreland Protocol? The Speaker of the U.S. House of Reprdesentstive Nancy Pelosi warned on 20.May 2022 that she will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the United Kingdom if it undermines the Northern Ireland Protocol. "Respecting the British people's vote and Brexit, I urge constructive, collaborative, and good-faith negotiations," she added. Northern Ireland's children, who have never witnessed the deadly conflict and do not wish to return, deserve a peaceful future in which they can all thrive. Takeaways The UK has now publically stated their intention to presebt legislation that would unilaterally remove parts of the NI Protocol. This would break the international treaty signed between the EU and the UK. The consequences are crystal clear. The measures described in the Protocol will kick in, including disapplying parts of the EU-UK Free Trade Agreement. What’s more, trust will be further eroded. Can the UK really afford this right now?

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page