Great Britain

Brexit news live: NI could become ‘permanent casualty’, PM warned as Sunak told to apologise on Scotland visit

Boris Johnson struggles with umbrella while sat next to Prince Charles

Ongoing rows over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol puts the Irish nation at risk of becoming a “permanent casualty” of Brexit - unless compromise is found urgently, a House of Lords committee has found.

Peers today published a report on both the problematic trade arrangement, as well as the EU and UK’s “fundamentally flawed” approach to resolving the dispute.

The group, which includes nationalist and unionist members from NI, said the UK approach had been characterised by a “lack of clarity, transparency and readiness” while the EU had demonstrated a “lack of balance, understanding and flexibility”.

Meanwhile, the SNP has demanded Rishi Sunak uses his visit to Scotland on Thursday to apologise for “prematurely withdrawing furlough and risking thousands of unnecessary redundancies”.

The chancellor is due to meet people supported by the UK government’s “plan for jobs” scheme, which he said has supported one in three jobs in Scotland, but the SNP’s shadow chancellor Alison Thewliss urged him to explain “why he is shortchanging us on youth jobs”.


EU and UK ‘must find way to resolve NI Protocol issues’ – report

The Northern Ireland Protocol risks becoming a constant irritant in future EU/UK relations unless both sides change their “fundamentally flawed” approaches to resolving the dispute, peers have found.

A House of Lords committee set up to examine the controversial post-Brexit trading arrangements for the Irish Sea has warned that Northern Ireland could become a “permanent casualty” of Brexit unless compromise is found urgently.

The EU and UK remain at odds over the implementation of new checks and processes on goods being shipped into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

The committee has published an introductory report on the arrangements that have created the economic barriers on Irish Sea trade.

Lord Jay of Ewelme, who chairs the committee on the Protocol, said there was an urgent need for compromise.

“That won’t be easy, but it is an absolute necessity that the UK and the EU should now work together urgently to identify solutions if Northern Ireland is not to become a permanent casualty of the Brexit process,” he said.

“The tensions over the Protocol currently seem insoluble. Yet that was also true of the political situation during the Troubles. But the peace process ultimately took root and flourished, through a process of time, patience, dialogue, and most of all trust. Those same qualities are now needed to address the problems that Brexit and the protocol present.”


Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of all things UK politics. Stay tuned as the government receives yet another warning over the fallout in Northern Ireland and Dominic Raab takes a stand against China.

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