Why we must legislate on the Northern Ireland protocol to save the Good Friday Agreement.
|Bernard Jenkin Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons) 12:22 pm, 15th July 2021
I beg to move,
That this House
The House approved this motion with Labour supporting when Bernard and other MPs including myself proposed it. What the UK government is now proposing by way of legislation is pursuing the policy laid out in this motion. It is important to avoid bringing into effect the many additional controls between NI and GB that the EU envisages. As the motion says there is no evidence of harm being done to the EU’s single market by the failure to impose these extra controls on GB to NI trade.
More importantly, as the motion stated, the Good Friday Agreement takes precedence over the Protocol and that Agreement is now visibly damaged and undermined by the EU actions over the UK’s internal market. Whilst the Protocol promised to respect our internal market the needless controls the EU has already imposed on internal GB/NI trade have done damage to our trade and more importantly have lost the support of the Unionist community for the Assembly and political process which lies at the core of the Good Friday Agreement.
The government should proceed swiftly with the necessary legal measure to restore UK internal trade. Labour would be wise to remember their support for this policy when they helped the Commons pass this motion. If they do so they help to restore cross community support for the Good Friday Agreement. Visiting US Democrats would be wise to read both Agreements and to grasp how the Protocol is currently undermining the Good Friday Agreement thanks to the heavy handed and wrong implementation by the EU.