Brexit: MPs to debate DUPs NI Protocol petition

Brexit: MPs to debate DUPs NI Protocol petition

MPs will hold a debate triggered by a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) petition urging the government to remove the Northern Ireland Protocol.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the protocol had ruptured the east-west relationship with Great Britain.

The e-petition is part of the party’s five-point plan to scrap the protocol.

As with all such petitions, it required 100,000 signatures to get a Parliamentary debate. It received more than 140,000.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is the part of the Brexit deal which prevents a hardening of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It does that by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU single market for goods.

That has created a new trade border with Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The DUP claims that Northern Ireland is suffering real economic and societal difficulties because of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which it says is a barrier to unfettered trade and is disrupting supply lines.

Arlene Foster says the government must now ditch the protocol because temporary measures will not work.

The government so far has shown no sign of doing so.

But the unionist parties believe politics alone may not be enough.

A judicial review challenging the Northern Ireland Protocol was launched over the weekend by, among others, Traditional Unionist Party (TUV) leader Jim Allister, former MEP Ben Habib and Labour MP Kate Hoey.

It has now been joined by the DUP and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

Mrs Foster said they were committed to challenging the Northern Ireland Protocol “in the courts, in Parliament, in Stormont and in Brussels”.

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