Britain Moves Forward With Changes to Northern Ireland Protocol

    Britain Moves Forward With Changes to Northern Ireland Protocol
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • Long-anticipated legislation that will reverse post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland (NI) agreed between Britain and the EU was announced on Monday.

    • UK PM Boris Johnson has stated that the current set of provisions, known as the "protocol" is, "upsetting the balance of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement," a 1998 accord that settled sectarian conflict in NI. Johnson also said that the rules are creating "unnecessary" trade barriers within the UK.

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    The government is risking a trade war to relieve the pressure of internal party divisions. This reckless provocation might be successful in appeasing Euroceptic Conservatives and strengthening Johnson's position following a catestrophic no-confidence vote, but Tory MPs are now committing the UK to unlawful legislation and asserting its legitimacy brazenly and without compunction.

    Right narrative

    Changing the NI protocol will not break the law. Treaties are agreements that come under particular jurisdictions, not laws that are enforced by authorities. As long as Boris Johnson passes any changes to the post-Brexit trade agreement through parliament - which he's doing - he's altering the law, not breaking it.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that Boris Johnson will leave office on Jun. 21, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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