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UK Supreme Court Upholds Legality of Northern Ireland Brexit Protocol

The UK Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to the legality of Northern Ireland’s controversial protocol.

The protocol governs post-Brexit trade between the British province and mainland Britain.

The legal challenge, brought by pro-Brexit campaigners and former leaders of Northern Ireland’s largest Unionist parties, argued that the protocol, which left the province in the bloc’s trade orbit, undermined its place in the United Kingdom.

However, the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal, which was also dismissed by the High Court and the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.

He concluded the protocol breached neither the 1800 Acts of Union nor the Northern Ireland Act of 1998, which followed a landmark peace deal that ended three decades of violence between Irish Republicans and pro-British Unionists.

The protocol, designed to protect the European Union’s single market without creating a land border on the island of Ireland, has disrupted trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK since it came into force in 2021.

It also angered pro-British communities, leading to the challenge from the former leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. Arlene Fostertraditional unionist voice leader Jim Allister and David Trimble, the late former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, among others.

The UK government and the EU are embroiled in lengthy talks to find a solution to the trade issues, but so far a deal remains elusive.

“A solution to the protocol was never going to come to court, but the cases served to highlight some of the reasons why trade unionists have uniformly rejected the protocol,” DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said.

“The protocol poses an existential threat to the future of Northern Ireland’s place in the Union. The longer the protocol goes on, the more it will harm the union itself.”

The British are also calling for the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which oversees the application of the protocol, to be abolished or reduced.

Major advances were recently announced in the press, before being tempered, but the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen mentioned a week ago “very constructive” discussions with London.

euronews Gt

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