Taoiseach Micheál Martin has secured a strong stance on the Northern Ireland Protocol alternatives that are being proposed by the EU which he has expressed support for.
With the UK dissatisfied with the EU’s proposals for the Northern Ireland protocol, there is an ongoing concern that the UK may invoke Article 16.
The Taoiseach has responded to these concerns, stating that “It would be irresponsible, unwise and it would be reckless to invoke Article 16.”
He said that Ireland and the EU have acted in good faith while adding that a good-faith response is required from the UK government.
Currently, the EU has proposed removing physical checks on goods by 80% in regards to both identity checks on trucks arriving at ports and inspections of their goods. However, UK Brexit Minister David Frost has been opposed to the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the protocol.
The EU’s proposals provide a more relaxed suggestion for trade but do not agree with removing the role of the ECJ which the UK will not accept.
With the threat of Article 16 looming, Martin stated, “If such an act was to be taken by the British government, I think it would have far-reaching implications for the relationship between the United Kingdom & the European Union.”
He added that it would also have implications for the relationship between the UK government and the Irish government as “such an action would not be in accordance with the spirit of partnership that has informed the peace process from the get-go. And that has informed the creation of the entire architecture that underpins the Good Friday Agreement.”
IMAGE – “File:Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020 (50051632532).jpg” by Houses of the Oireachtas from Ireland is licensed under CC BY 2.0/Fianna Fáil (via Twitter)