The European Union‘s stance over the Northern Ireland protocol has led a leading unionist campaigner to compare the “subjugation” of his corner of the United Kingdom to Russia’s attempt to seize Ukraine by force. While Unionist Voice Editor Jamie Bryson acknowledged Vladimir Putin’s brutal use of military force in Ukraine, he argued that Northern Ireland was facing an equally serious erosion of sovereignty by Brussels be it through bureaucratic means and with the “complicity” of the British Parliament.
Mr Bryson told Express.co.uk: “The people of Ukraine are being subjected all be it in a violent rather than a bureaucratic way.
“But in terms of the impact on sovereignty, the impact of sovereignty in Ukraine is the same as the impact of sovereignty in Northern Ireland.
“The only difference is in Ukraine it is being inflicted upon them via ghastly violence.
“In Northern Ireland, it has been inflicted upon us A) With the complicity of our own Parliament and B)By bureaucrats in the European Union and by the aggressive actions of the Irish Government.”
He added: “That is why many people in the unionist community think do we not have a right to defend ourselves, to defend our sovereignty, to defend our identity and way of life?
“I think that we do.”
The European Union has launched fresh legal action against the UK in retaliation over Boris Johnson’s plans to unilaterally scrap parts of Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal.
European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said the UK’s move had “no legal or political justification”.
As well as new legal action for alleged failures to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol as it stands, Mr Sefcovic confirmed that existing infringement proceedings which had been paused while UK-EU talks took place would now be resumed.
And he indicated further measures could follow if the UK pressed ahead with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which will effectively rip up key parts of the deal signed by Mr Johnson and the EU in 2019.
At a press conference in Brussels, Mr Sefcovic said the UK Government had set out to “unilaterally break international law”.
The plan would mean “breaking an agreement that protects peace and stability in Northern Ireland, an agreement reached together only three years ago”.
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Mr Sefcovic said: “Let there be no doubt: there is no legal nor political justification whatsoever for unilaterally changing an international agreement.
“Opening the door to unilaterally changing an international agreement is a breach of international law as well.
“So let’s call a spade a spade: this is illegal.”
The dispute could ultimately lead to a trade war, with tariffs or even the suspension of the entire Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union.