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Updated – More tweaks for Northern Ireland trade?

[ September 8, 2020   //   ]

The government proposed changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol that will govern customs checks on goods moving to or from the province after Brexit in the Internal Markets Bill published on 9 September.

In contrast with the earlier agreement with the European Union, the new bill proposes that there would be no new checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of Great Britain. Some Ulster Unionist MPs are reportedly unhappy at the prospect of such controls on Northern Ireland/GB trade.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the bill would create a safety net if ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU on the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement failed to produce results.

However, opposition MPs and former PM Theresa May said that the plans to modify the deal already agreed with the EU could break international law.

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