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UK introduces bill to ‘fix’ Northern Ireland Protocol; EU warns of initiating legal action

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The UK government has finally introduced legislation that the Johnson government called a measure to fix parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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Image: AP

Amid the escalating tensions with the European Union and potentially triggering a trade war, the UK government, on Monday, finally introduced legislation that the Johnson government called a measure to fix parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. According to the UK government, they are making the changes necessary to restore stability and to ensure the delicate balance of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. According to the statement released by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill will allow the government to address the practical problems the Protocol has created in Northern Ireland in at least four key areas: burdensome customs processes, inflexible regulation, tax and spend discrepancies and democratic governance issues.


The serious situation in Northern Ireland means we cannot afford to delay.



This Bill sets out comprehensive solutions to fix problems with the Northern Ireland Protocol, while protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.https://t.co/4pFlz7IQhm pic.twitter.com/HEse2Hq4B1


— Liz Truss (@trussliz) June 13, 2022


These problems include disruption and diversion of trade and significant costs and bureaucracy for business. It said they are undermining all three strands of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and have led to the collapse of the power-sharing arrangements at Stormont. “The UK government is committed to seeing these institutions back up and running so that they can deliver for the people of Northern Ireland,” read the statement.


Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that the recently passed Bill will uphold the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and support political stability in Northern Ireland. She underscored the bill will end the untenable situation where people in Northern Ireland are treated differently from the rest of the United Kingdom, and protect the supremacy of our courts and our territorial integrity.


“This is a reasonable, practical solution to the problems facing Northern Ireland. It will safeguard the EU Single Market and ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland. We are ready to deliver this through talks with the EU. But we can only make progress through negotiations if the EU are willing to change the Protocol itself – at the moment they aren’t,” she said.


“EU said it would launch legal action for infringing the protocol and a majority of members of the Northern Ireland assembly accused Johnson of being the reckless one by destabilising the Good Friday agreement.


EU to take legal action against UK “arbitrary” decision


According to a report by The Guardian, the European Union would launch legal action for violating the protocol. The 27-member economic union and a majority of members of the Northern Ireland assembly accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being reckless by destabilising the Good Friday agreement. Reacting to the bill, high Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles took to the microblogging site and registered his disagreement with the move. He called the bill– a unilateral decision of the UK government and said it would cast an unnecessary shadow on EU-UK cooperation and would undermine trust and credibility.


Image: AP

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