Northern Ireland Protocol

– in the Scottish Parliament on 4th May 2022.

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Photo of Clare Adamson Clare Adamson Scottish National Party

To ask the First Minister whether she will provide an update on any discussions that the Scottish Government has had with the United Kingdom Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency in light of the potential impact on Scotland of his reported comments regarding the Northern Ireland protocol.

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

We remain deeply concerned about the dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol. The protocol is part of the European Union-United Kingdom withdrawal agreement. When Boris Johnson signed it, he described it as a “fantastic moment”. The Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development and Minister with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine, Neil Gray, has written to the UK Government making it clear that invoking article 16 of the protocol or, indeed, unilaterally introducing legislation to breach international law would be deeply irresponsible and would probably trigger severe trade and economic impacts for the whole UK, including Scotland.

In light of the serious implications of such action, we would certainly expect the Scottish Government to be involved in discussions in advance. However, despite our repeated requests, the UK Government has, to date, shown no willingness to engage on the issues.