An analysis of the UK Government’s defence of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill under international law
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Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol, Protocol Bill, Brexit, customary international law, necessity defence, safeguards
In the early summer of 2022, the United Kingdom (UK) Government introduced the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in the House of Commons. This Bill establishes a regulatory framework that is intended to enable the UK Government to breach its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement and, more specifically, the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol). The UK Government contends that the Bill can, however, be justified under international law by reference to both article 16 of the Protocol and the plea of necessity under customary international law. This article examines the extent to which the UK Government’s position is valid.