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By Caroline Bell – 3 minute read

IT HAS TAKEN ME a few days to see the true anti-democratic scale of the Windsor Framework. The fact new EU regulations rather than domestic legislation will implement the framework first set alarm bells ringing. Surely domestic legislation would follow to put the new Protocol rules into effect? How naïve of me to believe that either the Sunak government or Starmer’s Labour Party believes in democracy.

Like everyone else, I focused on the “Stormont Brake” solely with regard to Northern Ireland, forgetting that there is already a (not very good) mechanism to question EU law in the Protocol. Why change it to something which, as the ERG legal diagram shows, is even worse? Why the big rush to vote on a Statutory Instrument to insert the Stormont Brake into UK law when all the new rules to govern trade between the mainland and Northern Ireland are being made (and voted on) in the EU?

That’s correct: the Windsor Framework hands legislative powers for the whole of the UK’s internal market to the EU, because the three new EU regulations in the Windsor Framework apply to people and businesses in Great Britain, not just in Northern Ireland.

The Stormont Brake Statutory Instrument is the critical part of the legal machinery which will allow a return to direct regulation from Brussels.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Drop new UK legislation governing the Protocol and GB to NI trade.
  2. Amend the Protocol as “the Windsor Framework” and hope no one notices that all the new rules imposing strict conditions on GB to NI trade are made by new EU regulations.
  3. The new regulations cannot be imposed through Annex 2 of the Protocol.
  4. They govern the UK’s internal market, and should be made under UK legislation passed at Westminster.
  5. Create a mechanism in the Northern Ireland Protocol called a Stormont “Brake” which allows 30 Northern Irish Assembly members to complain to the British government about new EU law being imposed under the Protocol.
  6. Make sure it will have no material effect.
  7. Pass new EU laws in Brussels, voted on by the European Parliament, which apply solely to the internal affairs of the UK.
  8. Impose them in Northern Ireland via the Protocol/Windsor Framework.
  9. Even if the Stormont Brake is triggered, it will make no difference. The EU laws have already been passed and the Sunak/Starmer British government will proceed to enforce them throughout the UK, claiming falsely that international law compels them to do so.

The Stormont Brake creates the mechanism to impose colonial rule from Brussels on the entire United Kingdom, just as May’s backstop was intended to do. That backstop failed to pass three votes in Parliament. The EU and the Rejoiners won’t make the mistake of asking Parliament to vote again. Instead they will surrender  control to the EU through political and legislative fraud.

If the Stormont Brake con succeeds, more and more EU laws will be imposed on the UK through the Protocol. Dynamic alignment will be baked in. Neither the British people nor Parliament will have any say in the matter.

The “Stormont Brake” Statutory Instrument flouts all legislative and parliamentary procedures for a reason. It will allow the Northern Ireland Protocol to be turned into May’s thrice rejected backstop. It is a con trick designed to deny the British people their democratic right to representative self-government.

Caroline Bell is a pen name. Caroline is a political analyst and former civil servant who has briefed government ministers on Brexit. 

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Photo by Sebastiano Fancellu from Adobe Stock

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