Ronan Cormacain: Does the Vienna Convention provide a legal off-ramp for unilaterally changing the Northern Ireland Protocol?

UK Constitutional Law Association

The Northern Ireland Protocol is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, designed to set out the legal parameters of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.  The Government proposes to introduce legislation to unilaterally change the Protocol.  On the face of it, this would appear to place the Government on the highway to a breach of international law.  But are there any off-ramps which allow it to avoid this destination?  This blog post examines one possible off-ramp, that this course of action is consistent with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.

Legal justification for unilateral amendment of the NI Protocol

The Foreign Secretary Liz Truss MP stated in Parliament on17 May 2022that “we are very clear that this is legal in international law, and we will be setting out our legal position in due course.”This legal position has not yet been set out.Emily Thornberry MP, the Shadow…

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