Nazi-EU comparison made as anti-Brexit Protocol case begins
Northern Ireland has been “partly annexed by the EU” through the workings of the NI Protocol, a court challenge to its legality has been told.
A judicial review on the protocol began at the High Court in Belfast on Friday, with the judge, Mr Justice Colton, being asked to take a view on its legality.
The case is being taken in the name of unionists across the UK, including outgoing DUP leader Arlene Foster, outgoing UUP leader Steve Aiken, TUV leader Jim Allister and Belfast Agreement architect Lord Trimble.
Launching the challenge, John Larkin QC argued that the protocol is unlawful because it breaches the 1800 Acts of Union which created the UK, plus the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Larkin, reading Lord Trimble’s words, said: “The issue of consent is a hugely important part of the Belfast Agreement, it is one of the key pillars underpinning the entirety of that agreement. The protocol fundamentally changes the relationship between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK...
“This amounts to a seismic change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland.
“Northern Ireland is no longer fully part of the UK, it has been partly annexed by the EU.”
Mr Larkin said that Lord Trimble had made huge personal sacrifices to bring about the Good Friday Agreement and felt “personally betrayed” by the protocol.
During the hearing, Mr Larkin likened NI’s position to that of the Vichy puppet regime in WWII France, saying “when push came to shove, the occupiers gave an instruction and the Vichy authorities would quickly fall into line”.
He said: “Article 6 of the Acts of Union prevented, and prevents, Her Majesty’s Government from agreeing any treaty of provision with a foreign power, or implementing any such provision which places Her Majesty’s subjects of Northern Ireland and Her Majesty’s subjects of Great Britain on a separate footing in relation to that foreign power.
“Contrary to that, the protocol, in its entirely, places Her Majesty’s subjects in Northern Ireland on a different footing to Her Majesty’s subjects in Great Britain in relation to the European Union and the protocol.”
He continued: “Article 6 of the Acts of Union imposes certain limitations to make treaties, and those were ignored.
“Her Majesty’s Government breached Article 6 by concluding an agreement...
“We have a partly written constitution in the United Kingdom, and part of our written constitution are the Acts of Union and they are certainly to be taken seriously.”
The full list of applicants in the case includes Brexiteer businessman Ben Habib and Baroness Kate Hoey too,
The case will resume on Monday and is scheduled to last for four days, with the judgment due later on in the year.