The Supreme court has ruled that the Brexit Northern Ireland protocol is lawful.
The Court unanimously dismissed the appeals on all three grounds.
Ground One: Dismissed as Article VI is subject to the Protocol such that any parts which conflict with the Protocol are suspended.
Ground Two: Dismissed as section 1(1) of the NIA 1998 relates only to the right to determine whether Northern Ireland remains part of the UK or joins a united Ireland.
Ground Three: Dismissed as section 7A amended the existing law such that the system created by the 2020 Regulations was lawful without the requirement of cross-community support. The 2020 Regulations were lawfully made.
The Democratic Unionist party leader, Jeffrey Donaldson, said a solution to the protocol, which his party opposes, “was never going to be found in the courts” but maintained the Brexit trading arrangements remained “an existential threat to the future of Northern Ireland’s place within the union”.
He also said “the cases have served to highlight some of the reasons why unionists have uniformly rejected the protocol”, urging the government to consider the arguments made by the appellants.
The ruling is a setback for the DUP, which has argued that the constitutional position of Northern Ireland in the UK has been weakened by the protocol.
The agreement obliges the region to observe EU trade laws while the rest of the UK does not.
Comment sum it up?
It was left to Dr Mike Galsworthy to say what many people are thinking: “Good. Now the DUP & ERG can get back in their box. They’ve caused enough damage with their Brexit – and should not be allowed to cause even more disruption.”
Here is John Major’s take on the protocol.