Protection of the UK Internal Market: Article 6 of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol

Brexit Institute Working Paper Series No 1/2022

17 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2021

Date Written: December 15, 2021

Abstract

This working paper argues that for all the talk about the UK’s internal market, it is partial and asymmetric, due to its limited substantive scope and also its limited temporal scope, given the special position of Northern Ireland. The text of the Protocol flatters to deceive: Article 6 explicitly and visibly keeps Northern Ireland in the UK’s internal market, albeit in reality this is somewhat partial. Less visibly, Article 5 keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s customs union and single market for goods. The consequence of this is a border down the Irish Sea with paperwork and checks on goods going into Northern Ireland and, in limited circumstances, paperwork on goods leaving Northern Ireland. The Protocol, and especially Article 6, is an effective exercise in smoke and mirrors. The drafters’ careful recipe writing may have helped to produce an ‘oven ready’ deal but one where the end result risks satisfying no one.

Keywords: Brexit, Internal Market, Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Withdrawal Agreement

Suggested Citation

Barnard, Catherine, Protection of the UK Internal Market: Article 6 of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol (December 15, 2021). Brexit Institute Working Paper Series No 1/2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3986200 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3986200

Catherine Barnard (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

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