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(U1) Needle Points North


(U1) Holding Onto Gains

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The UK gov't has released its 'command paper' on the implementation and future of the Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. The paper does not go so far as to recommend unilaterally tearing up the protocol, or invoking Article 16, which allows for the disapplication of the protocol, but does argue that the protocol needs rewriting to better serve the people of Northern Ireland.

  • Link to paper:
  • Sections four and five of the document, titled "An alternative way forward: finding an agreed new balance" and "Establishing this new balance" are the crucial sections as it is here that the gov't lays out its alternative proposal to the EU of how the protocol could or should work.
  • One of the most controversial sections for the EU is likely to be the assertion by the UK that "the relationship between the UK and the EU is not ultimately policed by the EU institutions including the Court of Justice." For the EU, having a non-EU body determining EU law is likely to prove unacceptable, and potentially illegal under the various treaties.
  • For its part, the EU seems unlikely to acquiesce to the UK's demands in this command paper, setting the stage for a show-down come end-September when grace periods on the export of chilled meats from GB to NI expire.