Legislation to revise the Northern Ireland Protocol is more likely to pass if it protects the EU’s single market

Letter to the Editor

It could be good news that the government postponed the publication of legislation to change the Northern Ireland protocol (yesterday), if the delay means it will now include new UK laws to protect the single market from l EU that were proposed in the order document. issued July 21, 2021.

As requested in a letter posted here just a week later (“Bringing in sanctions to deter exports from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland that fail to meet EU standards”, 28 July 2021, see link below), asking ‘why not just go ahead and do this?’ and then use this Act “to underpin a system of export licenses to regulate the transport of goods from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland”.

By now, more than ten months later, it could have been amply demonstrated that this rational and well-targeted alternative to the irrational and unwelcome provisions in the protocol was both feasible and effective in protecting the single market from EU against unacceptable goods entering through this clandestine crossing of the land border, equivalent to 0.02% of EU GDP, and did not trigger the feared resurgence of Republican terrorism.

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With such useful provisions included, the bill should have a much better chance of passing through both the Commons and the Lords, as it would be difficult for EU supporters to oppose a bill designed to complete the protocol and strengthen the protection granted to the EU single market.