Government introduces bill to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol

Government introduces bill to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol

14 Jun 2022

The Government has introduced new legislation to make changes to how the Northern Ireland Protocol will apply.  

The legislation enables the government to bring forward durable solutions in each of the 4 key areas. The solutions are:

  1. green and red channels to remove unnecessary costs and paperwork for businesses trading within the UK, while ensuring full checks are done for goods entering the EU
  2. businesses to have the choice of placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland according to either UK or EU goods rules, to ensure that Northern Ireland consumers are not prevented from buying UK standard goods, including as UK and EU regulations diverge over time
  3. ensure Northern Ireland can benefit from the same tax breaks and spending policies as the rest of the UK, including VAT cuts on energy-saving materials and Covid recovery loans
  4. normalise governance arrangements so that disputes are resolved by independent arbitration and not by the European Court of Justice

These changes are designed to protect all 3 strands of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, including North-South cooperation, and support stability and power-sharing in Northern Ireland. They will provide robust safeguards for the EU Single Market, underpinned by a Trusted Trader scheme and real-time data sharing to give the EU confidence that goods intended for Northern Ireland are not entering its market. The legislation also ensures goods moving between Great Britain and the EU are subject to EU checks and customs controls.

You should continue to use the guidance for now.  It will be updated in due course, giving you time to prepare for any new requirements.