Letter: Supreme Court ruling shows how the Northern Ireland Protocol has modified the unwritten constitution of the United Kingdom

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Letters to editor
A letter from Stevan Patterson:

The dismissal by the Supreme Court of the unionist challenge to the Northern Ireland Protocol is still a win in terms of publicity for all those who reject the protocol (February 9).

With the legal action, taken on behalf of all those who oppose the protocol, now complete we owe those that took the case in the first place and our judiciary an immeasurable debt.

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The lawfulness on the right of the sovereign parliament of the United Kingdom government to introduce the protocol was never in any doubt and this has been confirmed by the highest court in the land, it has never the less been a useful exercise to highlight how the NI Protocol has modified the unwritten constitution of the United Kingdom.

It puts in black and white how our democratic rights and free trade within the United Kingdom are being treated differently as Northern Ireland is now a place apart from other parts of the kingdom and is considered more in the EU single market than the UK single market.

Many would argue that this is the end of the process, but is in fact far from it as a bad law will always be a bad law and as such it must be repealed.

The judgement makes it clear that parliament is sovereign and so has the right to disapply the protocol, it is only the lack of political will that stands in the way of its removal and the restoration of rights across the United Kingdom.

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The judgment places the burden of responsibly on all true unionists to continue the opposition to the protocol and to end the damage it continues to do each and every day.

The arguments to the courts and the final judgment of the Supreme Court has shone a spotlight on what the protocol is, publicity that money cannot buy, put simply a constitutional wedge that will over time split the United Kingdom apart with its diversion in trade, rules and regulations.

The judgment in the round must be considered not as a defeat but the end of the first stage in a long relay race which has helped to embolden unionist resistance to the protocol and I have no doubt will lead to the eventual restoration of our basic human rights as full and equal citizens of our United Kingdom.

Stevan Patterson, Castlederg