Northern Ireland Protocol: First Treasury Counsel

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:32 am on 9th June 2022.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Inclusive Society), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 10:32 am, 9th June 2022

On 16 June 2020, the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told the House that the Government were “faithfully implementing” the withdrawal agreement, including the Northern Ireland protocol. We know there are no surprises in the withdrawal agreement because we spent long enough debating it in this place, so either it was signed in bad faith, knowing the inevitable outcome, or the Government really did not understand what they were doing. Either way, it is a very bad look for this Government.

If it is true that the Government have not sought full legal advice on the legality of their protocol plan, and if they have given themselves the green light to go rogue, does the Minister agree that breaching international law in this way will only increase the UK’s reputation for being a bad-faith actor in the international community?