Brexit warning: Failure to scrap EU rules will be ‘body blow to UK’, ex-MEP warns court

Brexit: Johnson pushed by Donaldson on Northern Ireland

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However, the former Brexit Party MEP said regardless of the result, he would continue to campaign against the controversial mechanism for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, which critics claim has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea. The court is scheduled to reveal its decision on Wednesday, with Mr Habib – who has been instrumental in bringing the judicial review to the High Court of Northern Ireland – planning to fly to Belfast specially.

He told “The treatment of the people of Northern Ireland both by Westminster and the EU is contemptuous.

“Behind closed doors the British government and EU Commission decided on a new constitutional settlement for Northern Ireland.

“That constitution put a partition down the Irish Sea and condemned Northern Ireland to swathes of EU laws.”

Mr Habib said the people of Northern Ireland were not only are subject to these laws but dynamic alignment with them – in other words, as EU laws change, so must those applicable in Northern Ireland.

He added: “And the ultimate arbiter will be the European Court of Justice, not the British Supreme Court.

“The people of Northern Ireland have not had any say in the establishment of these new arrangements or how they evolve.

“There can be no way to describe this other than subjugation. A breach of their human rights.”

He explained: “These are British citizens. The only difference between them and us in GB is that that they live in Northern Ireland.

“And with this differentiation the new arrangement also broke the union of the United Kingdom.

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“All British citizens must be equal. Westminster and the EU have decided that those in Northern Ireland are second class.

“And with the break from GB, the East/West dimension of the Belfast Agreement was in turn broken.

“The Northern Ireland Protocol flies in the face of human rights, the foundations of the United Kingdom, and the Belfast Agreement which brought peace to the island of Ireland.”

Turning his attention to Wednesday, Mr Habib said: “It is on all these grounds, amongst others, that together with leading unionists in Northern Ireland, including Lord Trimble (an architect of the Belfast Agreement), I have launched a legal challenge to the Protocol.

“The result of the hearing in the High Court in Belfast is due on June 30.

“Any result other than one which finds in our favour would be wrong and another body blow to Northern Ireland.

“But whatever the outcome, we will not cease our efforts to defeat the Protocol until it is defeated.”

Incoming DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson yesterday urged the Irish Government to stop “cheerleading” for the Protocol.

Speaking on the day he became leader-designate Sir Jeffrey signalled that north-south relationships will be impacted if Irish ministers do not change their stance.

He explained: “The Irish Government and the Irish Prime Minister (Mr Martin) have made clear that they want to protect the peace process, they want to protect political stability in Northern Ireland.

“But the Irish Government has to step away from being a cheerleader for one part of the community.

“If the Irish Government is genuine about the peace process, is genuine about protecting political stability in Northern Ireland, then they too need to listen to unionist concerns.”

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