Monday, 18 November 2019

The Northern Ireland Protocol. What Does It Mean?

By Willie Drennan

The Withdrawal Agreement is a very complex and painful read. The majority of the British people have obviously not been able to study this long-winded monstrosity of legal jargon. They rely instead on the interpretations of media correspondents and their politicians of choice - most of whom seemingly haven't studied it in full either.

I have only read parts of the WA and have further developed a wee bald patch on the top of my head to prove  it.  But I have studied the NI Protocol section. The conclusion I have come to, to date, is that it is a horrendous treaty: not just for the Northern Irish part of the UK but for the whole of the UK.

The Backstop is still in there, camouflaged behind the complex legal jargon.

But I am no lawyer. So I have listed, and numbered, 20 of my understandings below in the hope that some legal experts, or highly evolved politicians, will be able to explain to me why I am wrong in my conclusions. I genuinely hope someone can.

1/ The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will rule supreme over any discrepancies that will arise out of the Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol.

2/During the Transition period, and for six years thereafter, the EU will be able to make changes to rules and regulations in Northern Ireland that will be binding in perpetuity, even in the event of the Protocol being rejected by the NI electorate.