I challenged Ministers today on their motives for the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, a piece of legislation being brought forward by the Government which will renege on aspects of the UK’s international treaty with the EU setting the terms for our future relationship after Brexit.
I explained that there are formal mechanisms through which practical improvements to the Northern Ireland Protocol could be negotiated, such as an agreement with the EU on veterinary standards and non-regression which would reduce checks and costs for businesses, and could be done quickly—certainly much more quickly than the months of Government posturing that we can look forward to with this Bill.
I also highlighted the work I’ve been part of with the UK Trade and Business Commission, listening to the voices of business on the issue and working up recommendations to Government on streamlining SPS checks with a veterinary agreement – it just takes proper negotiation, not unilateral posturing.
I went on to explain that provocation is this Government’s approach; lecturing the world on the rule of law but reneging on international treaties and trashing our reputation on the world stage.
You can read my whole speech here or watch a clip of it below.