LiveLIVE UPDATES: Brexit NI - Judge completely throws out attempts to have NI Protocol ruled unlawful

A judicial review of the Northern Ireland Protocol has been completely rejected by the High Court in Belfast.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 1:12 pm

Scroll down for more on this story.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

All of the challenges concerning the NI Protocol were rejected by Mr. Justice Colton.
All of the challenges concerning the NI Protocol were rejected by Mr. Justice Colton.

NI Protocol Judgement - LIVE UPDATES - Judge rejects legal challenges to Northern Ireland Protocol

Last updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2021, 12:48

  • Mr. Justice Colton made the following rulings:
  • NI Protocol conflicts with Acts of Union 1800 but is not unlawful
  • Withdrawal Agreement/NI Protocol supersedes Acts of Union 1800
  • NI Protocol does not breach 1998 Belfast Agreement
  • NI Protocol does not breach human rights

Judge rejects legal challenges to Northern Ireland Protocol

Legal challenges against the lawfulness of Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol have been dismissed by a High Court judge in Belfast - writes David Young, Jonathan McCambridge and Rebecca Black, PA.

Mr Justice Colton rejected arguments that the contentious post-Brexit trading arrangements breached the terms of the 1800 Acts of Union and the 1998 legislation that underpins the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

In a lengthy judgment, the judge agreed with the applicants’ contention that the Brexit Withdrawal Act, in which the Protocol is enshrined, conflicted with the 1800 Acts of Union.

But he ruled that both were constitutional legislation and said that the Withdrawal Act, which was expressly agreed by Parliament, effectively overrode the provisions of the 200-year old law.

The judge also dismissed the arguments put forward by the applicants that the Protocol breaches key provisions of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act, in particular related to the consent mechanisms contained in the law that flowed from the historic peace deal of 23 years ago.

He ruled the Protocol did not breach articles 1 and 42 of the Act.

The judge also refused the judicial review ground that Northern Ireland citizens’ human rights are being breached by being unable to influence the EU laws that apply in the region, by not being able to elect MEPs to the European Parliament.

He also rejected the argument that the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol breach EU law.

The lead judicial review case was pursued in the names of unionists and Brexiteers from across the UK, including former DUP leader Arlene Foster, former UUP leader Steve Aiken, TUV leader Jim Allister, Belfast Agreement architect Lord Trimble, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib and Baroness Hoey.

An adjoined case was taken by Belfast pastor Clifford Peebles.

Both were dismissed by the judge in Belfast on Wednesday.

NI Protocol ruled lawful by High Court in Belfast

The NI Protocol has been roundly rejected by unionists.

Mr Justice Colton has refused one of the main grounds of the judicial review case against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The judge, delivering judgment at Belfast High Court, agreed with the applicants that the Brexit Withdrawal Act conflicted with the 1800 Acts of Union, but he ruled that the latter legislation overrode the provisions of the 200-year old law.

Judge Colton is continuing to deliver his judgment on other grounds of challenge against the Protocol.

Mr Justice Colton has also refused another of the main grounds of the judicial review case against the Northern Ireland Protocol – namely the contention that the post-Brexit trade arrangements breach key provisions of the 1998 Northern Ireland Act.

The judge ruled the Protocol did not breach articles 1 and 42 of the 1998 legislation that enshrines the terms of the Good Friday peace agreement.

Mr Justice Colton also refused the judicial review ground that Northern Ireland citizens’ human rights are being breached by being unable to influence the EU laws that apply in the region, by not being able to elect MEPs to the European Parliament.

The judgment is continuing.

‘Unionist leaders have lost that legal argument - but it’s politically significant' - News Letter, Political Editor, Sam McBride

‘The NI Protocol is opposed by a growing number of people in Northern Ireland, a tracker poll for academics has found’ - News Letter, Political Editor, Sam McBride

Judicial review outcome expected within next few minutes

TUV leader Jim Allister, former Labour MP Baroness Hoey and former MEP Ben Habib arrive at the High Court in Belfast to hear the outcome of their joint challenge against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

TUV leader and MLA, Jim Allister, Baroness Hoey and former Brexit party MEP, Ben Habib have arrived at the High Court in Belfast where they will learn the outcome of their judicial review of the NI Protocol.

The judicial review was launched in the name of unionists from across the UK, including former DUP leader Arlene Foster, former UUP leader Steve Aiken, TUV leader Jim Allister, Belfast Agreement architect Lord Trimble, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib and Baroness Hoey.

The Protocol is part of the Brexit deal and is deeply unpopular with unionists as it creates a trade border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and means EU rules governing trade in goods still apply in Northern Ireland.

Page 1 of 1