Northern Ireland Protocol

Northern Ireland Protocol

Northern Ireland Protocol


  • The Boris Johnson administration has come up with a new legislation, the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which would enable the U.K. to override provisions of the Brexit deal 

What is NIP?

  • As the BREXIT came into force, the UK had to come out of the customs union, this has created confusions within Europe.
  • Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares a land border with the EU, as the Republic of Ireland (or Ireland) is an EU member-state.
  • This protocol will enable the authorities in UK to override the provisions of the Brexit deal.
  • The provisions under the Northern Ireland Protocol would allow the authorities to conduct the checking at the borders (port) of the Northern Island.
  • After this Northern Ireland will follow the EU standards for the products.

Why NIP?

  • The UK has decided to unilaterally revamp the Northern Ireland Protocol through bringing in a local law.
  • This legislation is widely seen as violative of the international laws.
  • The main reason for bringing in the law is because of the restrictive laws which prevented free movement within UK.
  • These barriers which restricted the trade between between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is considered as one of the main reasons to bringing in the legislation.
  • Northern Ireland’s Unionists (those who support the United Kingdom) are unhappy with the NIP, and they detest having to live with a provision that essentially isolates them from the United Kingdom when compared to people in other regions of the United Kingdom.
  • The unionist party in Northern Ireland is effectively preventing the creation of a new power-sharing government in Belfast, stating that it would not participate unless the NIP rules are repealed.
  • The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill seeks to allow the UK government to override essential sections of the NIP in this context.
Way Forward:
  • The Johnson government has attempted to explain its violation of the Brexit deal by citing the “doctrine of necessity,” a norm of international law.
  • When a state’s “essential interests” are in “grave and imminent jeopardy,” the UN’s International Law Commission authorises it to utilise this doctrine.
  • The Johnson administration believes that by exploiting this emergency gap, it will be able to overcome any legal challenges to its planned legislation.

          Source The Hindu


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