Business Community Constituency Government International Politics Portadown Stormont Upper Bann Westminster

Plenty of Sophistry But No Sovereignty Reclaimed!

Speaking in Portadown on Thursday evening, TUV leader Jim Allister challenged the relentless spin that the ‘Windsor Framework’ had fundamentally changed the Protocol.

“The irrefutable reality is this, the legal order agreed by the PM under which adjustments can be made to the Protocol expressly prohibits any change to “the essential elements” of the Protocol. So tinkering is all that we’ve got.

“This could not be clearer. The agreed adjustments will be implemented through the Protocol’s Joint Committee which operates strictly within the confines of Art 164 of the Withdrawal Agreement which expressly provides they can agree nothing which changes “the essential elements” of the Protocol. That is the straight jacket within which changes can be made, so, tinkering only is allowed.

“The “essential elements” of the Protocol are these:-

  • NI retained within the EU’s single market for goods, meaning EU laws, not U.K. laws, govern much of our economy with the governing court being the foreign ECJ.
  • NI subject to the EU’s Customs Code which treats NI as EU territory, subject to its trade laws, resulting in the Irish Sea border.

“The supremacy of these unamendable “essential elements” means EU law stays, ECJ stays, the Irish Sea border stays and Art 6 of the Acts of Union stays suspended. So, far from the Windsor Framework delivering us from being an EU colony it confirms this hapless state. 

“The PM excelled at sophistry this week but reclaimed none of the EU’s ill-gotten sovereignty over Northern Ireland. 

“In consequence nothing can change for any unionist leader who solemnly pledged on Ulster Day 2021 “our unalterable position that the Protocol must be rejected and replaced by arrangements which fully respect Northern Ireland’s position as a constituent and integral part of the United Kingdom”.

“The Windsor Framework, by retaining the essential and Union-dismantling elements of the Protocol, patently does not respect NI’s position as a constituent and integral part of the United Kingdom.  Hence, it will not do.” 


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