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UK: In UK letter to EU for new NI/RoI protocol, fourth point states that "this
regulatory zone [all island goods trade] must depend on the consent of those
affected by it".
- This in effect means the NI Assembly and Irish Dail will have to continue to
approve alignment at end of transition period and every 4 years thereafter.
- Could eventually spur a regulatory wedge between UK and NI once transition
- Anti-Brexit parties in NI (republican Sinn Fein, nationalist SDLP,
cross-community Alliance), while unlikely to govern together in Stormont, could
put aside differences and support continued alignment with EU rules after end of
- For Sinn Fein, continues alignment increases prospects of NI union with RoI as
a division will have been made between NI and GB. For Alliance, continued
alignment keeps NI linked to EU, a key aim as a staunch pro-Remain party.
- Little recent polling, but 2019 EP election gave SF, SDLP, Alliance greater
vote share than pro-Brexit DUP, TUV and UUP.