‘No single market without ECJ!’ EU ambassador slams Brexit amid NI protocol chaos
João Vale de Almeida, 64, appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme to discuss ongoing calls to alter the Northern Ireland Protocol. Speaking to Emily Maitlis, the EU’s ambassador to the UK warned Ulster Unionists they could not have unfettered access to the bloc’s Single Market if they wanted to end the ECJ’s jurisdiction over the province.
“There is no single market without [the] European Court of Justice,” said Mr Vale de Almeida.
“It is the ultimate jurisdiction… it’s the referee of the Single Market.”
The Portuguese-born diplomat added: “If Northern Ireland wants – and I think that’s what we heard in Northern Ireland, that’s what is in the Protocol by the way – to have access to the single market for goods, we are talking about the biggest single market in the world, and at the same time have access to the British market, it is a unique position in the world, if Northern Ireland wants this… there has to be a European Court of Justice.
“One does not go without the other.”
When asked by Ms Maitlis what would happen if the UK Government simply did not force Northern Ireland to follow ECJ rulings, the EU ambassador said that would “put at risk” Ulster’s access to the Single Market.