Brexit: Ben Habib claims UK 'clearly isn't sovereign'
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Lord Frost is currently involved in negations with EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic to reduce trading friction created by the contentious post-Brexit arrangements for the Irish Sea. The Protocol, which was incorporated into the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to help avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, has left Northern Ireland tied to a range of EU customs and regulatory rules.
However, if no agreement is reached, the UK Government faces a courtroom showdown on the implementation of the Protocol after a legal challenge was launched by former Brexit Party MEP Ben along with Jim Allister, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice party and Baroness Kate Hoey.
The legal challenge has been paused whilst the negotiations between the EU and UK take place but Express.co.uk understands the appeal to the High Court is ready to be reopened with UK ministers expecting to be put under further pressure from the challenge.
A UK legal source said the case could be a “landmark” moment for how the Protocol operates if a ruling went in favour of the Unionist politicians.
In Belfast’s High Court earlier this year, some of Northern Ireland’s most senior judges heard arguments from the politicians’ lawyers that the Protocol was legally “rotten to the core” and incompatible with domestic and European law.
But the politician’s case was thrown out with Mr Justice Colton rejecting their challenge on all grounds before the group appealed.
A decision on whether the appeal can proceed is due next week.
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Leo Varadkar blamed as UK’s relationship with EU teeters on the brink
Leo Varadkar is partly to blame for the European Union’s increasingly fractious relationship with the UK, an ex-Irish diplomat has claimed – because of the former Taoiseach’s dogged insistence on the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol.
Ray Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, said: “On the Coveney/Frost interventions, Ireland now finds itself in a dangerous position as relations between the EU and Britain head for yet another crisis.
“In the circumstances, Coveney and Leo Varadkar should reflect on the role they played in rejecting earlier British efforts at a compromise under David Cameron and insisting on the Backstop which ended the career of Theresa May.”
Mr Bassett added: “Now Ireland is potentially faced with a difficult dilemma, should trade relations between Brussels and London break down, namely whether to have controls on the Irish land border or controls between the Irish Republic and the European Mainland.”
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