Northern Ireland protocol bill “a positive and welcome step”, says IEA Head of Regulatory Affairs

Commenting on the introduction of the government’s Northern Ireland protocol bill, Victoria Hewson, Head of Regulatory Affairs at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The publication of the Bill is a positive and welcome step. As set out in my briefing in May, the EU’s position of no renegotiation and insistence on strict implementation of the Protocol was set to make matters worse for businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland already suffering economic disruptions from partial implementation.

“The institutions of the Belfast ‘Good Friday’ Agreement that the Protocol was supposed to protect have collapsed under its provisions.

“The system set out in the Bill is not ripping up the Protocol – key parts of it concerning the Common Travel Area and human rights have been ring fenced and the provisions that will replace the trade sections of the Protocol still represent serious interventions in the supply of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in an effort to protect the EU’s single market.

“There is still significant work to be done to flesh out and operationalise the policy with the powers under the Bill, which emphasizes why whatever is put in place needs to be a durable solution, in the interests of legal certainty and political stability.

“The Bill provides for agreed arrangements with the EU to be enacted so it is to be hoped that cooperation will be forthcoming to make this work in the best interests of both parties.”


Notes to editors

Contact: [email protected] / 07763 365 520

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.

Further IEA reading:

The Northern Ireland Protocol: Current position and ways forward, by Victoria Hewson

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