Regulation

The UK has not “abandoned” the Northern Ireland Protocol, says IEA expert


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Responding to the EU launching legal proceedings against the UK over the alleged breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Victoria Hewson, Head of Regulatory Affairs at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 


“It was perhaps inevitable that the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol would be a fractious, disputed process. Imposing what is effectively an international trade border within a domestic economy is an untried solution and was always going to be costly and disruptive.


“Many businesses in Northern Ireland are still reeling from the first set of new procedures and it seems that systems to accommodate the full procedures will simply not be ready. This does not mean that the UK has abandoned the Protocol or is not committed to fully implementing it – if it is going to work at all, firms and individuals in Northern Ireland need time to adapt.

“The Protocol is expressed to be without prejudice to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, and both sides agreed to use their best endeavours to facilitate trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“The legal process initiated will take some time. It is to be hoped that the UK and EU can reach a constructive solution that protects the interests of businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland in a proportionate way. This need not entail any genuine risks to the integrity of the EU internal market.”

ENDS



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