NI Protocol vs Act of Union : another Unionist strategic misstep looms

Today’s Sunday Telegraph notes :

[..] The Sunday Telegraph can also disclose that Ben Habib, a former Brexit Party MEP, cross-bench peer Baroness Hoey, and Jim Allister, the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice party, are threatening a legal challenge against the Government to try to overturn [the NI Protocol]..

There has been a persistent story, promulgated chiefly, it appears, by Jim Allister, that the NI Protocol could be a breach of the Act of Union.

As a legal matter, this could be a fascinating case, possibly introducing new case law around certain aspects of the UK constitution.

As someone who knows next to nothing about the law, I have some considerable difficulty believing that a 200 year old piece of legislation might trump a more recent Act pursuant to an international treaty and with a Parliament having a clear mandate to deliver it. There is every possibility that I am wrong about this.

But as a matter of strategy, it seems misguided to say the least. You don’t have to be a lawyer to see that there are two possible outcomes :

  1. The case is thrown out, which would mean that Unionism’s interpretation of the law is wrong.
  2. The case is upheld, which would lead to the UK government moving to either amend or repeal the Act of Union to address the illegality of the protocol.

Either way, the result is the same : the entrenchment of the NI Protocol still further in UK law. Far from trying to save or protect the union, if this action goes ahead it will simply lead to case law – or legislation – that highlights NI as a place apart, sweeping away any ambiguity that Unionism could later try to exploit.

Whose interests would this serve ?