Europe says No

A letter from Demot Nesbitt:

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 5:00 am
Letter to the editor

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has stated that “the Protocol is the only possible solution… protecting the integrity of the European Union’s single market.”

Unionism’s response must be clear, positive and firm. It must not convey an image, long viewed by others, that it has a negative, hard line, ‘Unionism says No’ attitude.

Rather, unionism has a right to expect the same democratic standards as apply elsewhere in Europe. The Council of Europe, a leading international human rights body, makes clear that a fundamental principle of international law is respect for “the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of states”.

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The protocol breaches fundamentally this principle of international law. European Union integrity does not trump a country’s territorial integrity as demanded by international law. Consequently, Ursula von der Leyen articulates a shameful hard line ‘Europe says No’ attitude to international law standards.

This simple two-pronged message must be the constant touchstone for Unionism in carrying forward its firm opposition to the Protocol.

Dermot Nesbitt, Co Down

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