Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A Chara, - David Trimble writes "the Northern Ireland protocol ignores the fundamental principle of consent. Northern Ireland is no longer fully part of the UK - it has been annexed by the EU and is subject to EU laws and an EU court without any right of dissent." (David Trimble: Tear up the Northern Ireland protocol to save the Belfast Agreement, Opinion & Analysis, 20th. February).

Where was his concern for Northern Ireland consent when he and the DUP continued to pursue a policy of Brexit even after a large majority in the North had voted against it?

The Northern Ireland protocol he complains of is a direct result of the Brexit deal negotiated by the UK government on their behalf. Moreover, the Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May would have avoided any need for a Northern Ireland Protocol, and was roundly rejected by the DUP.

It seems unionists are all in favour of British rule when they do their bidding, and all against it when it is not to their liking. In practice, consent for David Trimble means consent by unionists only. The 56% of Northern Ireland voters who voted remain do not apparently matter.

It may also have escaped David Trimble's attention that Article 18 of the protocol provides for the Northern Ireland Assembly to vote on a regular basis to consent to the continued operation of the protocol. Is he concerned that unionists may not be able to command a majority of the Assembly?

How much angrier will David Trimble be when 50% plus one vote for a United Ireland as required by the Belfast Agreement he negotiated and still claims to support? The British government will then be legally obliged to transfer sovereignty over Northern Ireland to Ireland regardless of what unionists might say.

He should be glad that the Northern Ireland protocol gives Northern Ireland the best of both worlds - relatively untrammelled access to both the UK internal market and the EU single market - to the envy of Scotland and many who voted Remain in the rest of the UK.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 20th, 2021 at 02:36:09 PM EST

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