Two legal challenges against the lawfulness of Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol were dismissed by Belfast High Court judge Mr Justice Colton on Wednesday. But the ruling has sparked fury from Express.co.uk readers.
Commenting on this website, one reader said: “The NI Protocol, like other awful parts of the deal, was signed so as to avoid immediate WTO.
“Now, 6 months on, WTO is not scary so it is time to unshackle ourselves and move away from trade and dependency with the EU.”
Another wrote: “Still in the hands of the EU then now we all know the EU are still telling Britain what to do then this is shocking.”
A third commented: “Withdraw from the withdrawal Agreement.”
Another fumed: “Just because they say it’s legal it does not mean it’s right.”
A fifth said: “WTO will fix that.”
One more fumed: “Rip up the FCA, NI Protocol, Divorce bill and stop any future payments to the EU and then give us the proper Brexit we voted for.”
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Justice Colton also dismissed the argument that the Protocol breaches the 1998 legislation that underpins Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Peace Agreement.
The lead judicial review case was taken by a collective of unionists and Brexiteers from across the UK, including former DUP leader Arlene Foster, former UUP leader Steve Aiken, TUV leader Jim Allister, Belfast Agreement architect Lord Trimble, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib and Baroness Hoey.
An adjoined case was taken by Belfast pastor Clifford Peeples.
Outside court, Mr Habib said: “The judge found against us on every ground but, crucially, what he found was the Act of Union Article 6, a fundamental part of the Act of Union 1800, no longer exists, that Northern Ireland and Great Britain have effectively been severed by the Protocol.
“It seems to have just gone through Parliament without even the Prime Minister recognising that his own act, the Northern Ireland Protocol, has actually broken the union of the United Kingdom.”
The Protocol is hugely controversial with unionist and loyalists as it creates a trade border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and means EU rules governing trade in goods are still in force in the region.