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Ireland
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EU could drop Brexit trade deal if UK suspends Northern Ireland Protocol

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said a UK move to suspend parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol could see the EU doing likewise with the Brexit trade deal.

Coveney said it appeared the UK was set to follow through with its threat to trigger Article 16.

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He said it looked as though the UK was laying the foundations to to make the move when the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow has concluded.

The Minister said the EU would respond in a “very serious way” if the UK took such a move, expressing his hope that a trade war would be avoided between both sides.

“I believe that if the British government essentially refuses to implement the protocol, even with the extraordinary flexibilities that are now on offer, and instead looks to set it aside then I think the EU will respond in a very serious way to that,” he said.

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“It means that the Trade and Co-operation Agreement that was agreed between the British government and the EU was contingent on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, which includes the protocol.”

“One is contingent on the other. So if one is being set aside, there is a danger that the other will also be set aside by the EU.”

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