UK Brexit Minister David Frost has said triggering Article 16 to suspend post-Brexit arrangements on Northern Ireland is “very much on the table”.
The UK and EU have been engaging in lengthy talks over the Northern Ireland Protocol for the previous three weeks, with Lord Frost claiming that time is running out.
“We hope to make some progress but honestly the gap between us is still quite significant, but let’s see where we can get to,” Frost said.
“We’re not going to trigger article 16 today, but article 16 is very much on the table and has been since July.”
“Time is running out on these talks if we are to make progress … If we can reach an agreement, a consensual agreement, on the protocol that provides a sustainable solution then that’s the best way forward,” he continued.
Any decision on the UK Government triggering Article 16 is expected to be made after the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which is due to conclude on November 12th.
Frost said: “I’m not going to give any timescales or any hypotheticals. We are trying to reach an agreement and we’re working very hard and carry on trying.”
“There’s a significant gap between us.”
IMAGE – “PM Boris Johnson speaking at the opening of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, 20 January 2020” by DFID – UK Department for International Development is licensed under CC BY 2.0