Northern Ireland Protocol Bill delay slammed as ‘weak’ – YOUR VERDICT

Ian Paisley questions James Cleverly about Northern Ireland

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill gives Britain the power to unilaterally override the post-Brexit trading arrangements. However, the Government has reportedly delayed putting the legislation to the House of Lords this year in an attempt to give the UK time to negotiate an agreement with the EU. However, a staggering 86 percent of readers think the Bill should not be delayed, a new poll has found.

It is hoped that a St Valentine’s Day agreement between London and Brussels can be made to prevent the row from impacting the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April.

A senior Government official told The Sunday Times: “To give room to the negotiations we are not asking for the whips to bring it back to the Lords now. We want to give negotiations the best chance. 

“Public discussions of amendments would not be helpful at this stage. We’ll let the team try the negotiations with Brussels first. If that doesn’t work, we’ll do the bill with the Lords.”

Over the weekend Downing Street denied the Bill had been put on ice, with a Government spokesman stating: “The bill has not been paused. It will continue its passage through the Lords in the new year.”

In a poll that ran from 10am on Monday, December 12, to 9.45am on Wednesday, December 14, asked readers: “Is Rishi Sunak right to delay the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill?”

Overall, 2,608 votes were cast with the vast majority of readers, 86 percent (2,232 people), answering “no” against Mr Sunak delaying the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.

Whereas 13 percent (352 people) said “yes” in favour of Mr Sunak’s decision, and a further one percent (24 people) said they did not know.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in a lively debate.

Many readers argued that Mr Sunak should not have pushed back the legislation, with username virginiapinkn describing the move as “weak and indecisive”.

Username Dustyroad said: “This should have been sorted out long ago, and now we get more dithering.”

Username justmy2cents said: “No! There can be no more delay. Northern Ireland is as much a part of Great Britain as Wales, England and Scotland are and they need to understand this once and for all.”

And username Vikhagan wrote: “Every delay or step backwards at Westminster just encourages the EU to keep going. Now is the time to get tough.”

Another, username ValBrooker said: “No it should not be delayed, but the complete opposite, fast track it.”

Username Lelly said: “We have been saying that this bill will not see the light of day for a long time now. No deal would crush our economy even further and it would destroy the Good Friday Agreement  and the entire peace process in Northern Ireland.”

Meanwhile, username SanjayP described it as “another miscalculated action”.

Likewise, username NWO3 said: “It only shows intent to undermine Brexit.”


Richard Branson calls for Britain to strike Swiss-style deal with EU [LATEST]
EU fisheries deal leaves member states scrambling for UK waters quotas [REPORT]
Tory MPs want to see results of Sunak’s tough talk on migrant crisis [COMMENT]

Some readers urged Mr Suank to fast-track the Bill, like username electriceel, who said: “Enough messing about, get it done, and do it now!”

Others dismissed any notion that the Bill should be placed on the negotiations table. Username Noch’n Rollmops added: “There is (and will be) no renegotiation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. There may be further discussions on how Britain should implement it, but that’s it. The Northern Ireland Protocol was negotiated and agreed, everything is settled.”

And username CARDIFFBOY said: “Go on Rishi, pass this bill into law and see the results.You would really collapse the economy very quickly.”

Others commented that it should be scrapped, including username Trooper Shaw, who said: “It should be binned permanently, and we should start to make an effort to stick to the rules we agreed.”

In response to the delay, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said: “If the Government decides or has decided not to progress the Protocol Bill, they’re making a grave mistake. We already know the EU is not serious and haven’t been serious. If they’re aiming to have the Assembly up and running without the Protocol dealt with, they’re whistling in the wind. It’s not going to happen.”

The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in July and is awaiting progression to the House of Lords. Mr Wilson claimed there had not been “any substantial movement” on protocol negotiations. 

During Foreign Office questions in the Commons on Tuesday, December 13, DUP MP Ian Paisley urged Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to push ahead with the legislation, claiming that the EU will “smell weakness”.

Mr Cleverly said the Bill was still on the table, explaining: “The UK negotiating team are very conscious of the frustrations, particularly in the unionist community in Northern Ireland.”

Source: Read Full Article