NI Protocol: Boris Johnson cautions Rishi Sunak against abdicating authority to veto the Brexit agreement

Rishi Sunak, the current prime minister, and former premier Boris Johnson

Rishi Sunak has been urged by Boris Johnson not to drop the legislation he introduced regarding the long-term functioning of trade in Northern Ireland following Brexit.

When Mr. Johnson was the prime minister, the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill was initiated; however, Mr. Sunak has been meeting with EU leaders to negotiate a new agreement.

Some goods moving across the Irish Sea are now covered by specific trade checks as of 2021.

According to a source close to Mr. Johnson, the former prime minister believed abandoning his plan would be a "great mistake.".

It would give the Westminster government the authority to decide unilaterally to end those current arrangements for Northern Ireland if it successfully completes its passage through Parliament.

The transition to that ultimate position is viewed by many Conservative backbenchers as a key negotiating point whenever the UK seeks concessions from the EU.

While the UK and EU try to negotiate a new agreement, the protocol bill is currently on hold in parliament. This new agreement will aim to once again resolve thorny issues like trade across the Irish Sea and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Northern Ireland.

After the most recent round of negotiations on Saturday, Mr. Sunak cautioned that there were still "challenges to work through" and that an agreement was "by no means done.".

The Sunday Telegraph, which previously employed Mr. Johnson, broke the initial news of the remarks from the source close to the former PM.

However, the source stated that Mr. Johnson does not believe anyone can judge Mr. Sunak's plans for a new deal until they have seen the text, which the government hopes to make public early next week.

Although the plans are said to still be "fluid," some government insiders anticipate a debate and vote on a deal in the House of Commons very soon, with Tuesday being the most likely day.

Mr. Sunak is working to ease tensions between Westminster and Brussels caused by Mr. Johnson's proposed legislation, which would have allowed the UK to unilaterally renegotiate and agree to parts of the current arrangements.

According to a senior government official, the bill would not need to proceed further in Parliament if problems with the current protocol arrangements could be resolved.

The cabinet source also told BBC News that there were "hard yards ahead" in the ongoing talks for a new deal. Working a lot right now. But it's far from finished. The hardest problems are always the ones you encounter near the end. ".

Mr. Sunak seeks the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Belfast and Tory MPs in Westminster in addition to reaching an agreement that is acceptable to the EU.

Both would be happy with a deal that lowers trade barriers across the Irish Sea, which is one of the main reasons why unionists and Euroskeptics oppose the Northern Ireland protocol.

The controversy surrounding the Protocol has caused a political void in Stormont in recent months, with the DUP obstructing the operation of Northern Ireland's devolved government in opposition to the trade regulations.

Securing the party's backing for any agreement will be essential for the long-term viability of Stormont, the Northern Irish parliament.

Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the Conservative Party, claimed in a Sunday Telegraph article that any agreement that continued to subject Northern Ireland to EU laws and regulations would prevent the DUP from resuming its power-sharing role at Stormont and put the Good Friday Agreement in jeopardy. .

Following more than a year of work by UK and EU negotiators trying to reach a deal on changes to the contentious trade arrangement, the prime minister met with European Commission President Ursula von de Leyen on Saturday in Munich in an effort to secure the needed agreement to resolve the tensions.

Downing Street stated afterward that it had been a "positive discussion" and that "very good progress to find solutions" had been made.

Mr. Johnson initially approved the protocol in 2019 as a component of the withdrawal agreement.

He called it "a great deal for our country" at the time, adding that "we in the UK can come out of the EU as one United Kingdom.".

But as a result of the agreement, a new trade border would exist between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Mr. Johnson repeatedly stated there would be no checks during the general election campaign of 2019.

By the time he was introducing the Protocol Bill, he had to admit, however, that it had upset the "delicate balance" of the political settlement in Northern Ireland.

After Brexit, the free flow of goods across the Irish land border will be guaranteed by the trade agreement.

Since it went into effect in 2021, goods moving from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland have been subject to inspection.

Unionist groups contend that establishing a functional trade border across the Irish Sea would jeopardize Northern Ireland's status as a member of the UK.

The largest of these parties, the DUP, has made it clear that it will not participate in the power-sharing government in Northern Ireland until its issues are addressed.

But the majority of the Stormont assembly members support keeping the protocol in place in some capacity.

Improvements to the protocol are required, according to Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party, and the SDLP, in order to make it easier to implement.

A map of the the UK showing how goods travelling from GB into NI and onward to the Republic of Ireland.

Source link

You've successfully subscribed to NewsNow
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Unable to sign you in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.