It Takes Two to Tango : The EU and the UK Need to Work Together to Make the Northern Ireland Protocol Work

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Publication Date February 2021
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The European Commission’s aborted attempt to restrict vaccines moving from the EU to Northern Ireland risked undermining years of hard work. The EU must learn from its mistake, and ensure that the protocol works for the people of Northern Ireland. The EU has already shown a lot of flexibility on issues affecting Northern Ireland, allowing it to retain a foothold in the EU’s market without the obligations normally asked of countries seeking a similar status. Now it is in the bloc’s interest to show a little more. Businesses in Northern Ireland will eventually adapt to the new trading conditions, and possibly even benefit from having greater access to European consumers than their counterparts in Great Britain. But in the meantime, while staunch Northern Ireland unionists will never be happy, the UK and EU must work together to ensure that the new normal is tolerable for everyone else.

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European Commission: EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement: Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

ESO Records
Cardiff EDC: 2018- : Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland in the context of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union
CER Insight: Apr. 2020: How to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol

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