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Ulster Unionist Party joins protocol legal challenge

Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, said:

“The Ulster Unionist Party has consistently opposed the NI protocol and has warned that it damages the Belfast Agreement by creating a border in the Irish Sea.

“We are mindful of the widespread unease and opposition that exists within the Unionist community regarding the protocol and have been exploring a range of options that can be used to remove it, including the right to challenge it in the courts, and we will continue to explore these options.

“Testing the Northern Ireland Protocol in the courts is a fair and legitimate thing to do. The very cornerstone of our democracy stands on foundations based on an individual’s right to legally challenge what they believe to be unjust.

“With that in mind, both I as Leader, and Danny Kennedy as Chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party, have today joined with other strands of Unionism in signing a joint letter to the Prime Minister, informing him of our decision to support a Judicial Review into the changes the Secretary of State made to section 42 of the NI Act 1988 – the statute that allows the Secretary of State to impose EU regulations on Northern Ireland, that has neither been initiated, amended, or scrutinised by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

“We believe these are actions which fundamentally undermine the principle of consent as laid out in the Belfast Agreement.

“The Ulster Unionist Party also wrote to the Attorney General on the same issue last week and the party will continue to seek to explore every political and legal avenue to get the NI protocol annulled. 

“That the Taoiseach also sought fit to tell Unionist politicians to live with the protocol and to ‘make it work’ further underlines what little conception there is to the very real damage that is being done to our constitutional position, our democratic institutions, and our economy.

“The absurdities of the protocol affect everyone in Northern Ireland; every legitimate action needs to be taken to deal with this very unequal, disproportionate and divisive treaty.”

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