SDLP Assembly Leader Matthew O’Toole MLA has welcomed confirmation from the Supreme Court today that the Northern Ireland Protocol is a lawful instrument and has encouraged the EU-UK negotiating teams to reach a resolution that retains access to the EU Single Market for Northern Ireland businesses while addressing issues with implementation that have been raised.
Speaking following today’s judgment, Matthew O’Toole MLA said:
“The Supreme Court ruling this morning provides important clarity on lawful status of the Northern Ireland Protocol as an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement as a matter of international and domestic UK law.
“I understand that the applicants will be disappointed in this ruling but would urge caution and restraint to those who have used this case with a view to undermining devolution in its entirety.
“Following this judgment, it is now critical that the EU and UK negotiating teams reach a comprehensive resolution that protects our unique access to the Single Market for goods while addressing the concerns around protocol implementation that have given rise to sincere objections related to trade barriers and identity issues in the unionist community.
“The people of Northern Ireland deserve government. That is the challenge we should all be working together to address, for patients waiting for a hospital appointment, for families waiting for cost of living support, for parents who need help with the cost of childcare. The politics of division and deadlock have failed. It is time to get back to working together.”