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Author: Blair Horan

On 8 September 2020, in the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, announced that the UK Government intended to disapply key provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, breaking International law in the process.

It was evident from the 20 May 2020 UK Command Paper, and subsequent Ministerial statements, that the UK was intent on renegotiating the Protocol, but the decision to renege on the Withdrawal Agreements was a surprise. The EU reacted by setting a deadline of 30 September for the offending provisions in the Internal Market Bill to be withdrawn, and providing the UK with formal notice of same on 1 October, though it has nonetheless chosen to continue the negotiations. This paper examines the background to the implementation of the Protocol, and assesses the prospects for a successful outcome to the EU-UK negotiations by the 1 January 2021.

The author, Blair Horan, was General Secretary of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU) from 1997 to 2012. He was a member of the National Forum on Europe from 2002 to 2009 and an alternate member of the EU Economic and Social Committee from 2009 to 2014. He is a member of the European Social Fund Committee, the North-South Interreg Committee, and is Secretary of the Charter Group, which campaigns for a Social Europe. He is a member of the IIEA’s UK Expert Group.

You can read the paper here.