I have tabled questions to the government about their proposed changes to the Protocol.
I want to know how many EU laws will still apply to Northern Ireland. It appears the EU decides this and the UK can do nothing about it. The so called Stormont brake does not apply to these laws, which we cannot amend or remove. I and my colleagues have given the government solutions to border issues which do not need NI to be under EU law.
I want to know from the Treasury if various VAT rules remain place from the EU as the EU says or if we take back control of VAT as the UK says. If there are EU powers what are they?
I want to know if the EU also retains some controls or influence over our Excise taxes as the EU says.
I want to know if any exit route from the Protocol is available to the UK if iit does not work out.
It would be a bad idea to lock the UK into EU laws and controls with no unilateral way out.
I am also concerned that the Stormont brake would not work. The UK legal establishment has shown itself very supportive of EU rights and powers and might well be reluctant to accept there was sufficient reason to veto an EU law. The use of a Treaty format limits Parliament’s ability to accept or refuse new laws in the way it can for domestic legislation.
Brexit is all about making our own decisions about laws and taxes. Clearly parts of the UK establishment still wants to make that as difficult as possible.