Protocol court challenge fails: Ex-UUP leader says ruling 'shows up inconsistencies'

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Former UUP leader Steve Aiken has said that today’s legal ruling only serves to underscore the “inconsistencies” created by the Protocol.

He made the remarks in response to today’s Supreme Court judgement, which effectively ruled that the Protocol is legal.

Announcing the court’s decision, Lord Stephens said the legal appeal challenging the Protocol was “unanimously dismissed” on all grounds.

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“In handing down their findings the court articulates many of the inconsistencies created by the Protocol,” he said.

Steve AikenSteve Aiken
Steve Aiken

“The judgement today must give the UK Government pause for thought as negotiations continue.

“They must work to undo the damage done by agreeing to the Protocol in 2019 and replace it with an agreement that restores Northern Ireland’s place within the UK Internal Market...

“We have been clear from the outset that the Protocol was unacceptable to Unionists. We must have a say in our future.

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"It is not acceptable for those who were the architects of the Protocol to preside over negotiations with no input from those most affected.

"If we are to find a way out of this mess, then it must be acknowledged by both the EU and the UK that trying to negotiate over the heads of Northern Ireland will simply not work and will only exacerbate an already fragile situation.”