"No self-respecting unionist" could support EU law in NI - Bryson
EU law and Northern Ireland’s place in the single market must be abandoned before any deal is acceptable to unionists, according to a document by a loyalist grassroots organisation.
The Unionist Voice Policy Studies (UVPS) paper sets out what it believes is the bare minimum acceptable to anti-protocol activists – including the full restoration of the Act of Union and an end to Brussels rules in Northern Ireland.
In an apparent warning shot to the DUP, Bryson says there “can be no one in any doubt as to the basis upon which the DUP’s mandate rests”.
The paper argues that “Any unionist who advocates returning to Stormont without the Union having been restored is required, as a matter of law, to collaborate in perpetually and dynamically implementing the Protocol and thus the subjugation of the Union. This is a position no self-respecting unionist could conceivably adopt.”
Current talks between the DUP and the government are ongoing, with increased speculation that Sir Jeffrey Donaldson may seek to take his party back into power sooner rather than later. DUP peer Lord Dodds has said the talks are the last chance to undo the “constitutional and economic harm” caused by the NI Protocol.
The UVPS document says that “The restoration of the Acts of Union requires both an end to the application of EU law for goods remaining within the UK internal market or going to a non-EU country, and a removal of the Irish Sea customs border which has both a hard (red lane) and soft (green lane) manifestation. However, both represent an Irish Sea border.”
The Windsor Framework – whilst not fundamentally altering the architecture of the NI Protocol – introduced a green and red lane system for goods entering Northern Ireland from GB. It made it easier for consumers in Northern Ireland to access certain goods in shops and sought to deal with specific problems facing pet owners, people ordering plants and medicines. These were achieved by negotiation and amending EU regulations.