The United Kingdom has threatened to launch security measures in the Brexit agreement if the European bloc continues to refuse to change the protocol for Northern Ireland, as the London government faces difficulties in supplying the province, Reuters reports.
The statements of the Minister for Relations with the European Union, David Frost, were made at the Conservative Party conference. The British official said he would present new legal texts to support his initiative to revise the protocol for Northern Ireland in the Brexit agreement.
Frost did not say, however, when the government would launch what is called “Article 16”. Through it, either party, UK or EU, can take unilateral action against the protocol if it has a negative impact.
The European Union has previously said that triggering Article 16 would be “extremely useless” and that it will consider all the options it has to respond to British action.
“Without a mutually agreed solution soon, we will have to act on our own, activating the Article 16 security mechanism to address the problems that the protocol is causing in Northern Ireland.
It is the only solution to protect our country, the people, the trade, the territorial integrity, the peace process and the benefits of this great United Kingdom of which we are all part, ”Frost told his party members.
“I knew we were taking a risk, but a risk worth it”
Since the United Kingdom left the European Union and the single market earlier this year, difficulties have begun to gather in several areas, including domestic freight transport to the province of Northern Ireland.
For this reason, the London government has repeatedly called for a revision of the protocol for Northern Ireland in the Brexit agreement.
On the other hand, the European Union refused to renegotiate the protocol, arguing that the Brexit agreement was signed by both parties in full knowledge of the facts and in good faith. The EU has urged the UK to seek and find solutions instead of threats.
“The EU will continue to be creative and flexible in the protocol (Northern Ireland – no.). But we will not renegotiate. We need to ensure stability and predictability in Northern Ireland together, ”said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
Frost acknowledged that his government wanted to negotiate “something better” than the protocol that created virtually a trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, but that it would “act independently to protect peace on the island.” Ireland”.
“Yes, we accepted this protocol in the difficult autumn of 2019. We knew we were taking a risk, but a risk that was worth it. We were afraid from the beginning that the protocol would lead to problems, and we were right “, Frost added.
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Editor: Adrian Dumitru