I provide proof that the EU now considers Northern Ireland to be part of the EU.

Graham Charles Lear
6 min readOct 17, 2021


Political organisations can sometimes ‘fudge’ awkward issues and this is nowhere more true than in the long and bureaucratic corridors of Brussels. When it comes to reporting economic information, however, it gets more difficult to hide uncomfortable truths.

Since 01 January this year, it seems the EU has been treating every product purchased by a citizen or company in Northern Ireland which comes from an EU country as being purchase from within the EU, rather than as being an EU export to a non-EU country.

Similarly, every product sold by a citizen or company in Northern Ireland to an EU country is being treated as a sale taking place within the EU, rather than as being an EU import.

In effect, it seems that the EU’s official statistics agency now treats Northern Ireland as a colony of the EU for trade purposes. The only thing it doesn’t do is to cite Northern Ireland in its countries list, as this would clearly cause a political explosion.

Here is the proof

Every month the EU releases official figures for international trade, broken down into imports, exports, and the trade surplus or deficit with each country it trades with.

In the notes below the latest EU trade release issued yesterday (15 Oct 2021), the EU says the following:-

“As of January 2021 onwards, data on trade with the United Kingdom is based on a mixed concept. In application of the Withdrawal Agreement Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, for trade with Northern Ireland the statistical concepts applicable are the same as those for trade between Member States while for trade with the United Kingdom (excluding Northern Ireland) the same statistical concepts are applicable as for trade with any other extra-EU partner country.”

- EU Commission (Eurostat) trade release, 15 Oct 2021

In other words, trade between Northern Ireland and the 27 EU member countries is considered to trade within the EU, not trade with a non-EU country. Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) is considered to be a non-EU country, but Northern Ireland is ‘part of the family.

For completeness, below is the full text of the ‘small print’ in the EU’s trade figures released yesterday in relation to the UK with and without Northern Ireland.

© EU Commission (Eurostat)

What about the EU’s Customs Union?

Those whose immediate reaction to these things is to rush to take the EU’s side might say “Northern Ireland is part of the EU’s Customs Union so this is perfectly normal.” The problem with this is that Northern Ireland is NOT part of the EU’s Customs Union. According to the treaties signed between the UK and the EU, Northern Ireland remains part of UK Customs territory.

What my article above highlights is that the specific provisions in relation to Northern Ireland, demanded by the EU, are such that the EU’s official statistics agency now treats Northern Ireland as if it IS part of its Customs Union.

Above I wrote that Northern Ireland is being treated like “a colony of the EU for trade purposes”. The justification for this is simple. If the EU is recording N.I. imports and exports with its member countries as if it were a member, and if the rules governing this trade are being imposed by the EU with no say by anyone in Northern Ireland, then this amounts to the EU acting like a colonial power.

Indeed, one only has to look at how an EU Vice-President can tour the Province as he did last month, with no UK Government Minister in attendance, meeting people and organisations and making statements, as if the EU owned the place.

Deeds not words

This issue is not about semantics. It is about reality, regardless of how treaties might try to dress things up.

The simple fact is that it seems the EU is now treating N.I.’s imports and exports with EU countries as if they were “intra-EU”. In what sense can this be reconciled with the treaty saying that N.I. is part of the UK’s Customs Territory, not the EU’s?

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it is in fact the EU goose that laid the golden egg.

This is yet another reason why Lord Frost must insist on full democratic and legal control being restored under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. This means a completely different Protocol, not a fudged mish-mash that will only result in more years of misery caused by the EU.

We wonder if Lord Frost is planning to have a stuffed goose this Christmas…?

What I write now is what the British Government should do. If they did this it would send a shockwave through the whole of the EU and put the EU Commission in a panic.

The UK should now pull out of the protocol there are clauses in it that make this possible and they should do it immediately. What this does is put the EU on the backfoot because to protect the single market that is so precious to them they must have a hard border between the South and the North and that goes against the very precious Good Friday Agreement that protects the peace in Northern Ireland an agreement that the US and the UK implemented.

The EU must have a hard border to check goods and people coming into and going out of both countries. However, how can the EU implement one? The UK has always said they will never put a hard border in place as it jeopardises the peace treaty. The Republic of Ireland says the same both have signed this Good Friday agreement to break it the world would condemn the one who breaks it with big sanctions.

However, the EU would order the Republic to put one in place as it protects their single market this then put the Republic in a dire predicament.

The UK has stated explicitly many times that it will not put any hard border between N.I. and the Republic of Ireland.

Conversely, the EU has never stated that it will not impose border controls. the EU intends to make the N.I./Republic of Ireland border into a hard border if the Protocol is broken

You see we have this

“If you push me to speculate on what will happen with a no-deal I think it’s pretty obvious. You will have a hard border.”

— Margaritas Schinas, 22 Jan 2019, then Chief Spokesman, now EU Migration and Asylum Commissioner.

This was said in the run-up of the WDA being signed which the Protocol was part of.

So it is clear that the EU would settle for nothing less.

So they will order the Republic of Ireland to implement one, of that there can not be any doubt.

What will the Republic do?

Well, to stay in the EU the Republic will have to implement a hard border, as — Margaritas Schinas, on 22 Jan 2019 I think it’s pretty obvious. You will have a hard border.”

That means a big headache for both the EU and the Republic. To keep to the Internationally renowned peace treaty the Good Friday Agreement the Republic of Ireland will have to come out of the EU immediately or face the wrath of the world.

It's time now to hit back hard at the EU and the Republic of Ireland. They both have tried to break up the UK.

The EU and their lacky the Republic of Ireland have done their best to break the UK up.

Take a look at the EU and Irish Governments that have prevented both the British and Irish Republican Customs from speaking together. to devise simple, alternative arrangements for the border between North and South — something crucial to preserve the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement.

“There are no formal conversations with either the French or the Irish. We cannot talk to Customs or taxation management organisations in either of those countries.”

“We do not believe we require any infrastructure between Northern Ireland and Ireland under any circumstances.”


Hit them both hard now let's see both squirm.

[ Sources: EU Commission official trade figures, released 15 Oct ]




Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.