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Postal Packets Regulations change status of Northern Ireland | Baroness Hoey


This week has seen a total disaster on the Second Delegated Legislation Committee on the Postal Packets (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2023, members being removed for even considering voting against it. It is a serious matter and people need to realise how much of an impact these Regulations will have.

In as short a time as a few months, people will realise just how serious the Postal Packets Regulations are. It will be the first of many statutory instruments that result from the Windsor Framework or, indirectly or directly, from the European Union’s attitude to it. As we all know if we read the Windsor Framework, and what the Government and the EU said, they are very different. Even on these postal packets regulations, it is very different.


A number of Lords referred to what the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee said about why there is a rush - why the hurry? Why the Government want to rush this through is very straightforward. They know that, as time goes on and there is more detail, scrutiny and need to work with this in, for example, sub-post offices across the country or through customs officials, we will see that this is not right. It is not going to work. They want to get it through.


It has been mentioned, so I do not want to go into what happened in more detail. I sat through the committee on this SI in the other place, and it is absolutely shocking that our Government have so little confidence in their own Members that they had to remove five of them because they knew that they would not get their support. That was because those Members had read it. They had read it and listened, and they knew what they needed to do, because what the Government had decided was not right or good for the people of Northern Ireland and certainly not for the union.


These regulations are, without doubt, changing the status of Northern Ireland such that it is being treated as a foreign country and a foreign part of the administration of the United Kingdom. For some people, that is fine. Some people do not really care about Northern Ireland. Let us face it: there are an awful lot of Members, not necessarily in this House but in Parliament generally, who probably think, “Oh, Northern Ireland—what a nuisance. If only we could forget about it”. This is precisely what many people who do not care about Northern Ireland want to see happening—this dividing, this moving, this drip, drip, drip taking Northern Ireland further and further from the rest of the United Kingdom.


Imagine a young person coming to this country as a student, sending a parcel. The Government are saying that it will not be very different, but we know that the European Union will eventually decide whether even individual parcels from person to person will need authorisation from somewhere. That is not for the person at the moment, but someone in the sub-post office will have to get the authorisation and that is going to cost money. Who is going to pay for that? There are business-to-business costs from that. More and more costs mean more businesses in Great Britain being clear that they will not bother sending things to Northern Ireland. This is happening already and is going to happen even more.


Imagine a young student coming over here to England and deciding to send a parcel to their grandfather. They will be told that they are sending it to a foreign country. That is quite outrageous. The instrument has the same instruction for Regulations 5, 6, 9, 15, 20 and 21, namely to insert


“and all GB-NI postal packets”


after “foreign postal packets”. It is quite outrageous that people in Northern Ireland who have given so much loyalty to this country—so many people died during world wars—are now being repaid by this glibness around how they are treated.


Many of my colleagues from Northern Ireland, from all parties, have put down lots of questions. I find it shameful that, every time, we get waffly answers that do not tell the truth. The Government skim around the issue. They will not answer in black and white because they know that answering in black and white tells us the truth. When I asked a Written Question some weeks ago about parcels to Northern Ireland, the Minister, Baroness Penn who answered me very clearly. She said:

“The Windsor Framework safeguards parcel movements and maintains business as usual for Northern Ireland consumers, removing any need for international customs processes”.


That is typically deceptive, we can use that word here, because it is not saying that the Government have removed customs. Contrary to what is claimed, they have not done so. They have further embedded the Irish Sea customs border because they have removed international customs processes. That is almost inaccurate as well because, in the 2023 regulations, trade from GB to NI is now to be treated as the equivalent of exporting to a foreign country. Therefore, how can the customs declaration required even for goods that are not at risk of entering the EU be described as anything other than the international customs process?


I could go on for a long time but I appreciate that that will make no difference as the Government have decided to ram this through. However, I have three questions for the Minister. First, can she confirm that the legal reality via the regulations is that Northern Ireland will be treated in the same category as a foreign country? Secondly, can she confirm that goods moving from GB to Northern Ireland will be treated as exports leaving GB and imports arriving in Northern Ireland, in the same way that foreign exports and imports are treated? One has only to read the regulations to see that that is obvious so, thirdly, how can the Government argue with any semblance of credibility that they have removed the Irish Sea border?

13 Comments


29/1/24


All genuine Unionists, please take note: This is what happens under EU Laws! Stand fast!


Daily Express Alert to EU Dictatorship!


Brexit vindicated: EU 'declares economic war' on Hungary in new assault on democracy

Story by David Maddox  
Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) has been further "vindicated", according to a senior Brexiteer, after it emerged last night that Brussels officials led by Ursula von der Leyen are planning yet another assault on democracy on the continent.
The Financial Times revealed that the European Commission has drawn up a plan to sabotage Hungary's economy if Viktor Orbán blocks a 50 billion euro aid package to Ukraine this week.
A secret internal document lays out Budapest's economic weaknesses…

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23/10/23

Can I ask CFU and all Unionist politicians what they and their Party are doing to redress the 'unjust imbalance' declared by the Courts earlier this year on the vital subject of 'Continual Nursing Care' for stroke-stricken elderly patients, and their having to pay for their own 'continual nursing care' as residents in Northern Ireland basic Nursing Homes (Almost £900.00 per WEEK), while similar patients/residents enjoy 'continual Nursing Care' in GB absolutely FREE!

This utter unjust discrimination between GB patients and N.I. patients which is forcing elderly patients to pay the NIHSC all their savings, then sell their homes to continue payments is a total political disgrace, and needs addressing urgently.

Thank you for your time and patience.

Dr…

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6/10/23

Good morning, Baroness Hoey, I listened to your comments on the Stephen Nolan BBC programme this morning, and one thing you said struck a cord with me, and it is quite an important point to be made: Unionists, Loyalists, and Protestants especially, are not heard much on the BBC or other News Media here in Northern Ireland, and one wonders why not! Is there, perhaps, a hidden reason for this situation?

Could it be a fact that certain BBC and News Outlets are instructed, covertly, NOT to feature salient PUL political and religious views - due to the fact that many of our sincerely held political/religious views are NOT in line with what is deemed to be 'the protracte…

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29/9/23


J. Bryson Piece , June 30th: "Lord Justice McCloskey in Allister et al: NI belongs more to the EU… than the UK”.


My comment: Sure we told the DUP and Sammy Wilson this fact months ago on Centre for the Union site!


The UK State of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, UK, no longer exists, if Article 6 of the Acts of Union are accepted as having been 'disapplied', and the bastard son of the N.I. Protocol i.e. the Windsor Framework are legally applied and surrendered to by Northern Ireland politicians.


The 'done deal' referred to by 'Risky' Sunak immediately splits Northern Ireland from Great Britain, and places us legally and immorally within the Sovereign…

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For the Interest of Unionists/Loyalists/PUL Communities: Dr C.K. McClinton, Ulster Christians.


Under ideas for a four-tiered system devised by France and Germany, Britain might become a “associate member” of the European Union.

The report presented by Paris and Berlin includes recommendations for EU reforms as the EU seeks to expand.

It proposes four layers of integration, beginning with the “inner circle” of Eurozone and Schengen Area members, followed by a second tier of remaining EU members.

An outer third tier would consist of “associate members” who would join the single market while adhering to the bloc’s common ideals and values.

The existing European Political Community, of which the UK is already a member, would be the fourth outer layer, focused…

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