The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill will continue to undermine trust between the EU and the UK, the SNP has warned, following a new report published by ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ which highlighted a range of looming deadlines on vital policy areas under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
It is believed that if an agreement is not reached by the set deadlines, numerous transition arrangements which are currently enabling a degree of interaction will come to an end.
Moreover, despite the benefits of programmes such as Erasmus and Horizon, which have been vital for universities, the lack of trust endangered by the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill will hamstringing future opportunities for collaboration.
Commenting, the SNP’s Europe and EU Accession spokesperson, Alyn Smith MP, said:
“Leaving the EU in the way we did was bad enough, but the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill only serves to exacerbate further problems and block meaningful discussion towards durable solutions
“Whether it be fisheries, financial services, energy, data or electric vehicles, there are a range of upcoming deadlines as part of the TCA which are due for negotiation.
“Sadly, thanks to the hapless actions of successive UK governments, there is very little trust internationally that the UK will honour any future agreements.
“Getting rid of the Protocol Bill will not only help improve the situation in Northern Ireland, but help all of us in these islands by rebuilding trust between the EU and the UK.
“It will also help unblock discussions on programmes such as Horizon as well as pave the way for further mutually beneficial agreements in areas such as agriculture or data sharing.
“At the end of the day though, there is no better deal than membership of the European Union. For the people of Scotland, that day cannot come soon enough as the EU’s newest member.”
Notes to Editors:
‘UK in a Changing Europe’ report can be viewed here.