Into the Unknown: Implementing the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland, 2020

19 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020 Last revised: 1 Sep 2020

See all articles by C. R. G. Murray

C. R. G. Murray

Newcastle University - Newcastle Law School

Clare A. G. Rice

University of Liverpool

Date Written: July 21, 2020

Abstract

The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has shone a spotlight on Northern Ireland’s reliance upon a delicately interwoven balance of political, economic and social factors, which are often beyond its control. The Protocol’s complex trading terms require implementation before the 31 December 2020 to avoid damaging consequences for Northern Ireland’s economy. Efforts towards implementation are taking place alongside the UK Government’s negotiation of the UK’s future relationship with the EU and moves to prevent barriers to trade emerging between the UK’s constituent parts. The UK Government’s prioritization of a “clean-break” Brexit for Great Britain has, however, exacerbated the vulnerability of Northern Ireland’s position amid these changes. This paper explores the workings of these dynamics, addressing how barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain have previously existed without being perceived to be a threat to the Union. We examine how the politics of Brexit is impacting upon the Protocol’s implementation, and suggest that the UK Government is harnessing the potential for collateral damage being inflicted upon Northern Ireland’s economy to generate a narrative of threats to the Union as a means of bolstering its negotiating position.

Keywords: Northern Ireland, Brexit, European Union Law, British Politics

Suggested Citation

Murray, C. R. G. and Rice, Clare A. G., Into the Unknown: Implementing the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (July 21, 2020). Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3657313 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3657313

C. R. G. Murray (Contact Author)

Newcastle University - Newcastle Law School ( email )

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/nuls/staff/profile/colin.murray

Clare A. G. Rice

University of Liverpool ( email )

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