A House of Lords committee has said the much-maligned Northern Ireland Protocol has created a “feast or famine” scenario in Northern Ireland.
An examination of the Protocol and wider trading found that services and companies involved in trade with the rest of the UK were being hampered by added red tape, whereas those doing more business with Ireland and the wider EU were benefiting. Peers have said the Irish Sea border is creating increased bureaucracy, resulting in added pressures on companies’ staff resources, increased costs and longer delivery times.
Lord Jay of Ewelme, who chairs the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Committee, said: “The committee’s engagement with businesses trading in and with Northern Ireland has demonstrated that, while much uncertainty remains, the economic impact of the protocol is gradually becoming clearer.
“The situation was described to us as ‘feast or famine’, whereby businesses able to take advantage of the protocol benefit, while those dependent on trade with Great Britain lose out.”
The report comes after an almighty breakdown in relations between the bloc and UK Government, with Liz Truss pushing through legislation to unilaterally suspend elements of the Brexit deal.
The committee said the issues need to be resolved quickly and called on the EU and UK to reengage in negotiations.