Parliament would not have voted for Northern Ireland Protocol if it was permanent: ERG

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Parliament would not have voted for the NI Protocol back in 2019 had MPs known it wasn’t a short-term fix, a eurosceptic MP has said.

David Jones, the deputy chair of the European Research Group (ERG), also said he believes that Downing Street has agreed to establish green and red lanes for goods entering Northern Ireland from GB.

Speaking to GB News television, Mr Jones said it is “extremely disappointing” that the EU has taken such a hard line on the protocol.

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Asked if it was his understanding that the protocol was intended as a temporary measure, Mr Jones said the document itself says it is temporary, and that he doesn't believe it would have been approved by Parliament had it been presented as a more permanent solution.

ERG deputy chair David Jones speaking on GB NewsERG deputy chair David Jones speaking on GB News
ERG deputy chair David Jones speaking on GB News

"The protocol says on the face of it, effectively that it is to be a temporary arrangement. If you look at Article 13.8, it actually contemplates what will happen to replace the protocol in due course,” he said.

"I think it is only because the protocol was presented as a temporary state of affairs that Parliament approved it when it voted on it.

"So the fact that the EU is sticking to the protocol, and in fact has been very insistent upon adhering to the letter of the protocol, is extremely disappointing, and quite clearly we've got to replace it."

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Mr Jones added: "No10 is being very tight-lipped and all that I am gleaning is probably what everyone else is gleaning, which is newspaper reports.

"It looks as if they are going to propose a deal to the UK – the we should have red and green channels for the admittance of goods into Northern Ireland and that there should be a more low-key role for the European Court of Justice – but beyond that I really haven't heard and I think that we do need that detail so that we can make an assessment of whether or not whatever deal is proposed is not only acceptable to the people of Northern Ireland, but the people of the UK as a whole.”