Courtroom fight against Brexit Protocol ‘is on behalf of democrats everywhere’

A statement on behalf of a string of high-profile unionist figures has said that their courtroom battle against the Brexit Protocol – which starts today – is being undertaken “on behalf of all who care about democracy”.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 12:01 am
Kate Hoey, Labour MP, Ben Habib, Brexit Party MEP, and Jim Allister MLA on the Republic of Ireland side of the Monaghan-Fermanagh border

The statement was issued in the names of Ben Habib (a British-Pakistani businessman, Brexiteer, and former Tory donor), Kate Hoey (prominent former Labour Brexiteer, now a baroness), Arlene Foster, Jim Allister, Steve Aiken, and Lord Trimble (pictured).

Their case takes the form of a judicial review, a judge-led probe into the legality of the Protocol, and its conflict with the 1998 Agreement and older laws linking Great Britain with Ireland (now Northern Ireland).

The group’s statement reads: “Today we are looking forward to the commencement of our legal challenge to the EU Protocol.

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“It is not just trade and economic prosperity but the constitutional integrity of the UK that requires defeat of the Union-dismantling Protocol.

“The purpose of this Judicial Review challenge is to undo the great wrong which was done in the imposition, without consent, of arrangements which leave Northern Ireland as a rule taker of foreign laws – over which we have no control, the UK partitioned down the Irish Sea and trade fettered disastrously with our biggest market.

“All this we believe infringes our constitutional and economic entitlements under the Acts of Union and the assurances of the Belfast Agreement, as well as our basic democratic entitlement to be governed only by laws made by those we elect.”

They thanked their legal team (led by John Larkin) and donors to the cause, concluding: “We may be the named applicants, but we take this action on behalf of all who care about democracy, our economy, the future of the United Kingdom and basic fairness.”

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