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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Time Boris stood up to EU bullies - free Northern Ireland from Protocol


By Andrew Rosindell 

In 2019, we went to the polls with a simple choice, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, a choice to either Get Brexit Done or a choice for more dither and delay, maybe even a second referendum. 

Thankfully, the people of the U.K. voted to Get Brexit Done and they did so with an overwhelming majority. Unfortunately, our friends in Northern Ireland cannot Get Brexit Done because of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Prime Minister needs to embrace Brexit and trigger Article 16 of the Protocol, or perhaps even go one step further and scrap the disastrous treaty for good.

The Protocol unfairly keeps Northern Ireland in the EU single market (a customs union with the E.U.) and Great Britain is defined as a third country and that is completely against what I and the Conservative and Unionist Party stand for.

We stand together as a United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland - we cannot sell out the people of Northern Ireland.

The European Union has acted in bad faith since day one of the Protocol, they have never been interested in getting a deal that works for both parties, that is because more trade is being diverted to the Republic of Ireland which benefits the E.U.

The EU has never wanted the Protocol to work and instead of it being a temporary measure for the short term, they are intent on keeping it in place indefinitely.

The entire Brexit negotiations have been infected from the outset by the deliberate misrepresentation of the Belfast Agreement; what has transpired is that the default position has been to view the Agreement through the 'principle of nationalist/Irish government interpretation'.

Put simply, every constructive ambiguity and provision has been, and we are told must be, resolved in favour of nationalism. That is unsustainable.

Unfortunately, those who threatened violence if checks were carried out at the frontier were rewarded by putting checks in the Irish Sea as this leads to more trade with the Republic of Ireland.

This is leading to a united economic island of Ireland and the Irish Government sees this as an opportunity to create a politically united Ireland, we cannot allow this to continue.

We need action now on the Northern Irish Protocol, we have had enough procrastination, the EU has given us plenty of reasons to trigger Article 16 and we should use that lever to free Northern Ireland from this worst of both worlds situation.

I believe it is absolutely critical for Northern Irish citizens that there is a swift resolution to the Protocol.

I welcomed the VAT cuts in the Chancellor's Spring Statement but unfortunately, the people of Northern Ireland will not feel this benefit of Brexit because they are still under E.U. rules.

People anywhere else in the U.K. would not put up with this and the people of Northern Ireland should not be treated differently from anyone elsewhere in the U.K.

The trading inconvenience caused by the Protocol is also something that should not be underestimated, I raised the point of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland earlier this year at Northern Ireland Questions.

I asked the Minister to take urgent action by standing up to the bureaucratic posturing of the European Union and ensuring that oak tree saplings can be traded freely between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom for Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 

This article first appeared in The Daily Express

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