My Interventions in the Northern Ireland Stormont Brake debate

John Redwood
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that because the EU will have powers over things such as VAT and state aid in Northern Ireland, it will also have powers on a drag-through basis over the whole United Kingdom? Does the whole United Kingdom not need a veto?

Sir Jeffrey M. Donaldson
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman. That is why we need a solution that enables the United Kingdom Government and this Parliament to regulate the entirety of the United Kingdom internal market. That is the solution. I am not saying that where Northern Ireland businesses trade with the European Union, EU standards and rules should not apply; I am saying that we can allow for that. What I do not accept is a situation where every business in my constituency must comply with EU rules even if they do not sell a single widget to the European Union. That is wrong, because it harms our place in the internal market of the United Kingdom.

The Stormont brake seeks to address the democratic deficit that I have mentioned, and to an extent, it provides a role for Stormont to pull that brake where changes to EU law occur, but I note that it does not give us any ability to deal with existing EU laws that impact on all manufacturing in Northern Ireland—laws that have been applied without our consent. To that extent, the brake cannot apply. It applies to amendments to EU law or changes new EU laws that are introduced.

I also note that in the proposed arrangements, it is available to the EU to take retaliatory action in the event that the UK Government apply a veto to a new EU law. That is a matter of concern to us in Northern Ireland, because retaliatory action could come in a number of forms. It could include the suspension of arrangements in the green lane, which would impact our ability to bring goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. We need to be clear that it is wrong for the EU to be able to intervene at that level in the free flow of goods from one part of the United Kingdom to the other. I highlight that issue as a real matter of concern to us.



  1. George Sheard
    March 23, 2023

    Will the EU now have powers to fishing around NI?

  2. Peter
    March 23, 2023

    Yes, it affects all of us by using Northern Ireland as a means to prevent divergence from EU policy.

    As Francois pointed out The Stormont brake is ‘practically useless’.

  3. agricola
    March 23, 2023

    Even the so called green lane is not a green lane such as we have all Experienced when returning to the UK. This EU conceived green lane is besset with paperwork and pre registration requirements. Trading UK to NI should ignore this restriction, it doesn’t happen between Watford and Bristol, so why between Watford and Belfast. It is an affront to the UK. What unimaginable sort of government idiot allowed it to happen. From where do you recruit such incompetence.

    1. rose
      March 23, 2023

      This is why business in N Ireland doesn’t actually think what the remainer MSM are making out it thinks. It has taken a little while to sink in and replace the Gove spin about having access to two markets.

  4. Mickey Taking
    March 23, 2023

    Any action by the EU to affect trade between GB and NI must be prevented.
    No iffs No buts.

  5. Bloke
    March 23, 2023

    The EU continues to be a mess of entanglement weighing down the UK with the dead weight of their nuisance to carry for no useful purpose.

    1. turboterrier
      March 24, 2023

      My friends living abroad tell me that it is not all sweetness and light over there.
      I find it amazing that the Qatar scandal has it seems been depressed and swept under the carpet. The people deserve better.

      1. Bloke
        March 24, 2023

        Yes; Europe would be a nicer place without the EU.

  6. Jude
    March 23, 2023

    Serious concern for me as well. Seems the Remainers & Globalists no longer respect democracy! This fudge appear s to benefit EU yet again. The majority voted for Brexit but Westminster refuse to deliver. It is a total disgrace & shows Westminster is not fit to govern anymore!

    1. turboterrier
      March 24, 2023

      Your last sentence is so correct.
      We need a seismic change in the whole of our parliamentary system.
      Twelve wasted years compounded by a useless opposition. The vast majority of the present bred of politicians ar totally not fit for purpose.

Comments are closed.