Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: Will my noble friend remind the House that the Northern Ireland protocol, as was made clear by our Attorney-General and the EU itself, is intrinsically temporary because the EU, under Article 50, was unable to enter into permanent trade agreements? This is why it could not even start negotiating a trade agreement with us until after we had left. However, as we resolve, by patches and devices, the structural problems that will grow because of the differences between EU legislation and our own, to avoid a barrier in the Irish Sea we will develop means that will enable us to apply the same mechanisms to avoid having a barrier or any infrastructure between Northern Ireland and the Republic when the Northern Ireland protocol fades away.

    Lord True: My Lords, we are addressing specific issues—for example, steel announcements and groupage announcements are imminent—and there will be what my noble friend calls “patches”. Obviously, in the longer run the protocol’s existence will be determined by the people of Northern Ireland.