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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

UK appears set to trigger Article 16 of Northern Ireland Protocol – Coveney

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has stated that the United Kingdom appears set to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

With evidence to back his suggestion, Coveney said that if the UK take such an action, it will potentially result in trade disputes between the EU and the UK.


Coveney said that he wouldn’t be surprised if this happens after the COP26 summit and added that Ireland needs to prepare contingency plans.

While speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Coveney said, “whether that is part of an ongoing negotiating strategy to try to change, amend or end the Protocol is hard to know, but certainly the signals are not good”.

Coveney said that it would be “in bad faith if it happens” and would be very damaging to the relationship between The UK and Ireland, the EU and the United States.


Despite numerous proposals from the EU offering changes to the protocol, the UK has demanded that a solution be made by December.

The UK predominantly want the role of the ECJ in the protocol abolished which the EU will not agree on.

As a result, the UK want the protocol to be scrapped and re-written, which the EU will not agree on.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Minister David Frost said that the EU’s interpretation of the deal lead to difficulties which created the condition to justify the use of Article 16 in the protocol.

Coveney has warned that parties in Westminster should not underestimate the significance of triggering Article 16 to remove elements of the protocol, stating that it would instead force a breakdown in relationships and negotiations between the two sides.

Although the triggering of Article 16 would not mean a return to a hard border, it could put in doubt the trade and cooperation agreement between the UK and the EU.

IMAGE -“Simon Coveney TD, Tánaiste and Minister” (CC BY 2.0) by Chatham House, London/ “PM Boris Johnson speaking at the opening of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, 20 January 2020” is licensed under CC BY 2.0


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