‘Without the ECJ, there can be no single market!’ In the midst of the NI protocol mess, the EU ambassador condemns Brexit.
Northern Ireland must remain under the jurisdiction of the European Courts of Justice (ECJ) if it wants to maintain access to the Single Market, according to the European Union’s ambassador to the UK, who spoke to BBC Newsnight.
On the BBC’s Newsnight broadcast, Joo Vale de Almeida, 64, discussed persistent attempts to change the Northern Ireland Protocol. The EU’s ambassador to the UK, speaking to Emily Maitlis, cautioned Ulster Unionists that if they sought to abolish the ECJ’s jurisdiction over the province, they couldn’t have unrestricted access to the bloc’s Single Market.
“Without the European Court of Justice, there is no single market,” Mr Vale de Almeida stated.
“It is the ultimate jurisdiction… it is the Single Market’s referee.”
“If Northern Ireland wants – and I believe that is what we heard in Northern Ireland, and it is what is in the Protocol by the way – to have access to the single market for goods, we are talking about the world’s largest single market, and at the same time have access to the British market, it is a unique position in the world, if Northern Ireland wants this… there has to be a European Court of Justice,” the Portuguese-born diplomat added.
“You can’t have one without the other.”
When questioned by Ms Maitlis what would happen if the UK government simply did not enforce ECJ judgements in Northern Ireland, the EU ambassador stated that Ulster’s access to the Single Market would be jeopardized.
The remarks follow Lord Frost’s call on the EU to reconsider the Protocol and withdraw ECJ jurisdiction from Northern Ireland.
“To apply EU law without approval in one portion of it and to have any issue arising from this arrangement decided in the courts of one of the parties,” the 56-year-old stated.
“The EU can insist on no change,” Lord Frost continued, “but it must remember that Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK, is governed by this Government, the UK Government.”
“Northern Ireland is not part of the European Union.”
Following Frost’s remarks, the EU presented new measures that would reduce food spot checks by 80% and loosen limits on medicine crossing the Irish Sea.
However, Northern Ireland’s largest political party, the Democratic Unionist Party, has already issued a harsh reply to the EU’s.