Legal defeat for opponents of the Brexit protocol

Opponents of the Brexit protocol giving Northern Ireland separate status have been defeated in court. The Belfast Court ruled that the regulations did not conflict with UK or European law.

Lawyers for pro-British parties such as the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party have argued in vain that the protocol is inconsistent with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and legislation from 1800, the so-called Acts of Union. The latter act regulated the union between the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.

The United Kingdom left the European Union last year. Brussels and London agreed that Northern Ireland would receive separate status. This should prevent extensive border controls between British territory and neighboring Ireland from ever being necessary again. They share the only land border between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland continues to follow many of the EU’s rules because of these agreements. In practice, this means that checks are necessary on goods destined for Great Britain to Northern Ireland. In this way, they must be prevented from being transferred without supervision to Ireland, a member state of the European Union.

The agreements are very sensitive to the Unionists, who consider the unity of the United Kingdom sacred. They probably won’t give up their legal battle against protocol. If they appeal, the case could eventually go to the British High Court.

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