Jamie Bryson seeks legal action against Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill on Northern Ireland Protocol

Campaigner Jamie Bryson is seeking to take legal action against Michelle O’Neill, claiming she blocked ministerial discussion of a paper around the implementation of Brexit’s NI Protocol.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 9:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 11:06 pm

Mr Bryson contends that the former deputy first minister prevented a paper from the Department of Agriculture in relation to Irish Sea border checks from going on to the agenda of a meeting of the Executive.

The protocol introduced further checks on goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain as part of a mechanism to avoid creation of a hard border on the island of Ireland following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and his department are under a legal obligation to fulfil the commitment made by the UK Government in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to carry out the checks.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill

However the Executive had not approved the protocol checks, and in January Mr Poots submitted a paper on the future implementation of the protocol checks.

Mr Bryson contends that Mr Poots was obliged to bring the paper to the Executive in terms of the implementation of the terms of the protocol, adding Ms O’Neill “failed to discharge her duty to properly consider the paper”.

Mr Bryson has also named the head of Northern Ireland’s Civil Service Jayne Brady in his judicial review application, over her role in advising ministers of their legal duties.

An Anti-protocol parade and rally will take place tonight, Friday, at 7pm on the High Street Ballymoney.

The speakers will be Jeffrey Donaldson, Jim Allister, Kate Hoey, Ben Habib, and Jamie Bryson.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Bryson said: “The Court of Appeal has set out plainly that the Union has been, in their words, subjugated by the iniquitous Protocol, with Northern Ireland primarily in the EU rather than the UK.

“This position is intolerable. Every moment it persists is a fully fledged assault on the Union, and Northern Ireland’s place within it.

“The large rally in Ballymoney is another chance for people to take to the streets to demonstrate their opposition to being placed under the jackboot of the EU and effectively held hostage in an economic United Ireland.”

He applauded the “broad range” of opponents of the protocol taking part.

A further rally will take place on 8 April at Robert St, Lurgan at 7:30pm. The speakers are Jeffrey Donaldson, Doug Beattie, Jim Allister and Jamie Bryson.

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