You can download below the new Constitutional Law publication on the Acts of Union and the Principle of Consent, written by Jamie Bryson with a foreword by Richard Humphreys, High Court Judge of Ireland, writing in a academic and personal capacity. A slightly longer version can also be obtained via Amazon in paperback.
The publication covers a number of key points:
- In his largely dissenting (to the arguments advanced in the publication) contribution, significantly Richard Humphreys- High Court Judge of Ireland- nevertheless makes clear that “nationalist demands for joint authority are wishful thinking” which “fall into the category” of the Belfast Agreement “meaning what people want it to mean as opposed to what it does mean”. He states that joint authority “is not envisaged by the Agreement as it currently stands”.
- The publication provides a detailed defence of unionism’s reliance upon the Acts of Union and the Principle of Consent in resisting the Protocol, arguing that these are “fundamental constitutional rights” and criticises unionist supporters of the Belfast Agreement in 1998 for failing to ensure the constitutional safeguards were not accurately translated into the accompanying legislation.
- By way of solution to the present impasse, the publication emphasises the core issue of removing the application of EU law and the ‘green lane’ which operates as a fetter on internal UK trade. This, it is suggested, can be done by mirroring the citizenship concept in the Belfast Agreement which provides for entitlement without imposition.
- The publication dismisses the suggested solutions being put forward by the Government which would create a duty to, in so far as possible, ensure that any future GB regulations did not further diminish the Acts of Union. It is pointed out that this is not restoring the Acts of Union, but merely amounts to a vague promise not to further diminish it. This, argues the publication, does not provide the basis for a return to power sharing.
You can access the publication here: