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Northern Ireland and the Withdrawal Agreement

Brandon Lewis, who voted Remain in the EU Referendum, exposed the Government to international and media censure when he announced that the proposed changes to cross border trade will “break international law“.  This is not just disloyal to the UK and the Government, it is also technically incorrect.

The changes that the Government are considering are outlined in the Internal Market Bill.  This Bill relies on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, section 38 which declares that the UK Parliament is sovereign and in particular not bound by several Articles of the Withdrawal Agreement.  The EU will have been aware of this Act and should have complained of “Treaty Violations” at the time of the Act.

The departures from the Withdrawal Agreement in the new Internal Market Bill are that transfers of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK should not be subject to any hindrance or inspections and that State Aid to Northern Ireland should not come under the control of the Withdrawal Agreement.  Both of these have the potential to violate the Withdrawal Agreement but if the Withdrawal Agreement is given primacy it will violate the principle of UK Parliamentary Sovereignty.  International courts will find it difficult to give primacy to an International Treaty that violates sovereignty and where the EU has failed to object to the declaration of sovereignty in the 2020 Act.

The provisions for Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement were a triumph for those Irish who desire a United Ireland because Article 18 of the Withdrawal Agreement (Northern Ireland Protocol) demands that in 2025 (4 yrs after the end of Transition) the Northern Ireland Assembly approve Articles 5 to 10 of the Protocol with a weighted majority (60 %) of Members of the Legislative Assembly present and voting, including at least 40 % of each of the nationalist and unionist designations present and voting.  The Nationalists will simply refuse to give approval which would lead to a constitutional crisis, there being no provision for what happens if approval is withheld.  The Internal Market Act provides continuity in the case of a refusal to approve Articles 5 to 10 and so removes the implied threat of a constitutional crisis.  It is this feature of the Internal Market Act that is probably giving rise to the premature claims of “treaty breaking” by the BBC and others who are working for the break up of the UK.

Remainers are not suitable for High Office, either in Government or the Civil Service or the BBC.  They have clearly signalled that their allegiance is to a foreign power and so are unsuitable for service at a high level in the UK.  (See Reshuffling Snakes ). In some ways these people deserve our pity because they have believed in the inevitability of “Western” civilisation at a global level, something that is not now going to happen, if it ever was.  Our pity should not go too far because their enthusiasm for abandoning the close interests of their constituents for some tenuous idealism is to be abhorred.

This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog: https://pol-check.blogspot.com/2020/09/northern-ireland-and-withdrawal.html

About John Sydenham

Profile photo of John Sydenham
Dr John Sydenham has worked in International Pharmaceuticals and for one of the "big four" International Consultancies. He ran a successful company for 15 years and after selling the company devotes his time to travel, science, black labradors and freedom.

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