Brexit trade deal in jeopardy as DUP hits out at EU ‘unwillingness’ to compromise

EU 'unwilling' to resolve Northern Ireland issue says MP

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DUP MP Jim Shannon has slammed the European Union for being “unwilling” to address Northern Ireland’s concerns with the post-Brexit protocol. Mr Shannon has insisted his party is working with others mount a legal challenge to the mechanism which was worked out between the Brussels and the UK with the intention of preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The DUP has said that the protocol has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea, which the North still subject to many EU rules and regulations. 

“We know seem to have a number of prominent MPs in the Conservative Party on our side,” the MP for Strangford told RT.

“We also have prominent members of the House of Lords on our side so our legal challenge now has gained feet and has gained momentum.

“In that, they also agree with us that there is an anomaly and illegal illegality of the Northern Ireland protocol and how it affects us in Northern Ireland.

“We believe if we win that then things will have to change.”

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Mr Shannon continued: “It will then be based upon negotiations that look at realities.

“The Irish government, for example, are always telling us over this last while look lets just work the protocol.

“The protocols not working and the quicker they realise that the better.

“Businesses in Northern Ireland and businesses in the UK mainland are having some immense problems.”

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Writing in the Irish Times over the weekend, former DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble, who played a leading role in negotiating the landmark 1998 Good Friday Agreement, said: “As someone who loves my country, and made real personal and political sacrifices to bring peace and normality to it, I implore my own government, the Irish Government and the EU to stop playing fast and loose with the hard-won arrangements in the Belfast Agreement.

“My primary objection to the protocol is that it changes fundamentally the constitutional relationship between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

“The laws that will apply to the economy, the environment, agriculture, workers rights, and regulations covering everything from building standards to use of weedkillers, no longer will be made at our parliament in Westminster or the local Assembly in Belfast.

“They will instead be determined by a foreign authority in Brussels.”

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It comes amid a legal threat issued by former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib, Baroness Hoey – previously former Labour MP Kate Hoey – and Jim Allister QC, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

In a video uploaded to Unlocked_UK, of which he is the chairman, Mr Habib confirmed the plan to push for a judicial review.

He explained: “We have done so, because Brandon Lewis sought in December 2020 to change the Northern Ireland act 1998 using a statutory instrument, removing the requirement for community consent in Northern Ireland and transposing the consent processes of the Withdrawal Agreement into that Act.

“That was a wholly unlawful thing to do.”

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