Northern Ireland Protocol:
Britain and the EU are locked in an escalating diplomatic feud over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. that borders the 27-nation bloc. The EU says Britain must fully implement the agreement, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, that the two sides agreed and ratified.
- It came into force on 1 January 2021 and is now part of international law.
- Under the protocol, both sides agreed that, even though Northern Ireland was no longer part of the EU, it would continue to follow many of its rules.
- This would enable lorries to continue driving across the land border without being inspected.
- Meanwhile, England, Scotland, and Wales are no longer following those rules – leading to a new “regulatory” border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- New checks on goods now need to be carried out when they enter Northern Ireland from England, Scotland, or Wales.
- Inspections take place at Northern Ireland ports, and customs documents have to be filled in.
- Geographically, Northern Ireland is part of Ireland. Politically, it’s part of the United Kingdom.