It is now time to stop thinking of the Northern Ireland Protocol in constitutional terms and focus on solving the practical problems posed by it, Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MP has said.
Dr Farry was speaking after a High Court judge upheld the UK Government’s view and ruled the Protocol was legal, rejecting a case brought by unionist politicians, who had challenged it via a judicial review.
“Northern Ireland remains part of the UK, via the principle of consent. Today’s ruling has confirmed that once again,” said the North Down MP.
“That fact is also hardwired into the Withdrawal Agreement.
"The judge’s ruling comes ahead of an expected EU-UK agreement about extending the grace period for chilled meats. Today could become a watershed in this entire process, and I appeal for all parties and governments to use it as such.
“Those who brought this judicial review should take heed of the judgement, and stop attempting to paint the Protocol in constitutional terms and making it about identity. Instead, they would be much better joining others in focusing on pragmatic solutions to problems posed by it, as Alliance has been doing since the disaster of Brexit happened.
“The focus must be on long-term solutions on agrifood movements and the flow of medicines and other challenges presented to Northern Ireland from Brexit.”