The British Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Northern Ireland protocol, which was concluded together with the Brexit agreement, is legal.
In doing so, it rejects the objections of unionist politicians who say the protocol conflicts with a law that, among other things, provides for free trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the European single market and customs union. As a result, controls have been established between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which the Northern Irish unionists regard as a downright nightmare. Moreover, they fear that the protocol will encourage the reunification of Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Several Unionist politicians had initiated the proceedings, including former Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster and (the late) David Trimble. They see the protocol as threatening Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom.
They say the protocol is illegal because it violates both the 1800 Act of Union that created the present-day United Kingdom and the Northern Ireland Act, which ratified the 1998 Good Friday Agreements.
The High Court of Belfast had already ruled in June 2021 that the protocol is legal, and now the British High Court is following suit.