The leader of the Democratic Unionist party, Arlene Foster, and senior DUP MPs are launching a legal action challenging the Brexit deal’s Northern Ireland protocol.
They will be joining other unionists from across the UK in judicial review proceedings unless alternative post-Brexit trade arrangements are put in place that secure their consent.
The DUP deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, the party’s Westminster leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, and its chief whip, Sammy Wilson, are backing Foster’s action in response to disruption of business through Irish Sea ports.
A separate group of DUP members have engaged senior legal counsel to prepare for a series of challenges to the protocol.
Foster said: “Fundamental to the Act of Union is unfettered trade throughout the UK. At the core of the Belfast agreement was the principle of consent, yet the Northern Ireland protocol has driven a coach and horses through both the Act of Union and the Belfast agreement.”
Unionists and loyalists have been growing increasingly angry at new regulatory and customs processes required to bring goods into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.
Nationalists and the Irish government are committed to solving problems with the protocol keeping Northern Ireland within the EU’s single market but insist nothing must threaten the free flow of commerce on the island of Ireland.
The nationalist SDLP leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood said: “The DUP’s legal action against the Ireland protocol is ill judged and will only further entrench the febrile political environment as well as creating further uncertainty for people and businesses. Read from source….