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Majority of NI voters are in favour of the Protocol: LucidTalk poll

A new opinion poll carried out on behalf of Queen's University shows growing support for Northern Ireland Protocol
Staff reporter

PUBLIC support for the Northern Ireland Protocol is steadily growing, a new opinion poll has found.

The latest survey by LucidTalk shows a majority of voters back the arrangements as the right way of managing the impact of Brexit.

It comes as MPs voted on Monday night in favour of unilaterally scrapping aspects of the EU-UK deal.

The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill cleared its first Commons hurdle, with no Tory MPs voting against it despite warnings the plans are illegal.

MPs voted 295 to 221 to give the bill a second reading.

The bill will pave the way for the UK to override parts of its Brexit Withdrawal Agreement that was agreed in 2019.

It keeps the north inside the EU's single market for goods.

Loyalists and unionists however are bitterly opposed to the protocol, which effectively puts a border down the Irish Sea, with the DUP refusing to return to Stormont until it is scrapped.

However the poll, conducted by Lucid Talk on behalf of Queen’s University Belfast, shows an almost 20 per cent jump in support of the protocol on this time last year.

A majority of respondents - 55 per cent - agreed it was appropriate for managing the impact of Brexit in the north.

In a similar poll in June 2021 the figure was 47 per cent.

More than 50 per cent of respondents see the current impact of the protocol on Northern Ireland’s economy as positive with 65 per cent believing it offers unique economic opportunities.

Politically the poll shows that 59 per cent of respondents see the protocol as having a negative impact on stability in the region and on British-Irish relations.

It was carried out between June 3-6 from a weighted sample of 1,497 respondents.

It is the fifth conducted for researchers at QUB as part of a three-year Economic and Social Research Council-funded research project.

The vast majority of those questioned - 84 per cent - said they did not trust the British government in representing the north's interests in respect of the protocol with 57 per cent opposing the UK in taking unilateral action to suspend elements of it.

Professor David Phinnemore from the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at QUB, said support for the protocol is on the rise.

“Many voters in Northern Ireland clearly continue to have genuine concerns about what the full operation of the protocol would mean," he said.

"Yet, this latest poll also shows support for the protocol edging upwards and almost two-thirds of respondents seeing economic opportunities in it."

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