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Activities & Reports

Blog: Predictable uncertainty: The first six weeks under the Protocol

This blog by Milena Komarova, Katy Hayward and Ben Rosher, is the first of a series that will be published every other month as part of a ‘temperature gauge’ of Brexit and the Protocol.

It is fair to say that if anything was going to dominate the media and public debate in Northern Ireland in January 2021, it was Brexit and Covid-19. The impact of each could be summarised under the one word: ‘uncertainty’. Taken together, it was inevitable that the New Year would bring disruption and unease. After months of suspense, key decisions about the operation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (ratified as part of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement nearly a year previously) were only formalised on 17 December by the Joint Committee charged with overseeing its implementation. And the new UK-EU relationship was only agreed on Christmas Eve. The UK Government’s decision in June not to extend the transition period meant that there was literally a matter of days for everyone to get ready for the most significant constitutional, economic and political change for generations.

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