Elaine Campling, Chair of ESMA’s Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Committee, reports on The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which was introduced to Parliament in June of this year.
The Protocol itself was negotiated as part of the Brexit arrangements to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. As such, Northern Ireland is retained as part of UK customs territory, but is regulated by the EU customs union and single-market regulations on manufactured and agricultural goods. However, the Protocol has been very emotive, particularly as checks must be made on some goods entering Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK. Problems with the Protocol also led to a Northern Ireland Assembly election in May.