Northern Ireland Protocol Bill Update

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill aims to alter part of the Brexit agreement between the UK and the EU and was introduced to the UK parliament by Liz Truss in June 2022. The Bill proposes to effectively introduce a green and red lane for goods crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain.

When the Bill was introduced to Parliament, Liz Truss sighted the potential of the original protocol agreement to undermine the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Truss is widely expected to be backed by the European Research Group (ERG) in the upcoming Conservative leadership contest, even though Rishi Sunak gave reassurances to the group that he would not oppose the legislation if he becomes leader on the 5th September.

The Good Friday Agreement is seen as a major contributor to bringing peace to the Island of Ireland after decades of tension and unrest. The Agreement saw the removal of the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and has posed a significant stumbling block during the Brexit negotiations.

The Northern Ireland Bill continues to make it’s way through Parliament even as Boris Johnson acts as caretaker Prime Minister. The protocol seeks to reduce the paperwork required for businesses to transport goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland. These businesses will be required to be part of a Trusted Trader scheme, but will be able to travel through the green lane without the need for supporting customs declaration documents. Only vehicles with goods bound for the rest of Ireland and the EU will be required to go through the red land and be subject to full customs checks.

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