Former Northern Irish First Minister Lord David Trimble, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in securing the Good Friday Agreement, has joined with other prominent unionists to threaten legal action if the government does not act swiftly against the current implementation of the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol and protect Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom.
The former UUP boss had already called for the provision to be scrapped in a scathing piece for the Irish Times. He argued that “not only does [the Protocol] shatter Northern Ireland’s constitutional relationship with the UK, but it also is damaging our fragile economy.”
This website reported at the weekend how current First Minister Arlene Foster and top MPs from her party were due to join judicial review proceedings as named parties, arguing that the Protocol violates the the Belfast Agreement, the Northern Ireland Act of 1998, and – shockingly – the 1800 Act of Union that created the United Kingdom in the first place.
Plans are now in place to ramp up the legal battle against the protocol alongside Lord Trimble and other heavyweights like former Labour MP Kate Hoey.
A letter coordinated by ex-Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib on behalf of Trimble has seen unionist voices join forces to put pressure on the government, threatening an intensified legal challenge and warning of the “pernicious constitutional damage” caused by the implementation of the protocol thus far.
It’s also warned that the legal mechanism is causing heavy economic damage in the province and that it is “nothing less than vassalage”.
Pressure over the protocol intensified in recent weeks when desperate Eurocrats threatened to erect a customs border on the island of Ireland by invoking Article 16 of the provision, undermining its very purpose in the first place.
British unionists including prominent voices in the DUP argued that the mask had slipped, and the EU’s willingness to impose a customs border revealed that their professed concern with Irish relations was a ruse from the start.
They launched a highly successful public petition, garnering well over 100,000 signatures and forcing a parliamentary debate on the subject, but the sore subject has yet to find adequate resolution.