Supreme Court Rules Northern Ireland Protocol is Lawful

Supreme Court Rules Northern Ireland Protocol is Lawful

The UK Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to UK-EU trade arrangements by unionist leaders.

Instated as part of the Brexit deal, the Northern Ireland Protocol creates a trade border between Northern Ireland and Britain. It has been appealed by uninionist politicians who have claimed that this conflicts with the 1800 Act of Union, which states that all UK nations should be treated equally in matters of trade, and the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which prohibits the alteration of Northern Ireland’s constitutional status without a referendum.

That appeal has now been unanimously rejected by the court, which agreed that the protocol did conflict with the Act of Union but added that it was Parliament’s will that any part of the Act that conflicted with the protocol be suspended.

In response to the ruling, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Jeffrey Donaldson said a solution to the protocol was “never going to be found in the courts”, adding that the Brexit trading arrangements remained “an existential threat to the future of Northern Ireland’s place within the union”.

Speaking with the BBC, a UK government source added that there was “lots still to work through” in negotiations concerning the protocol.

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