UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that it would be ‘completely legitimate’ to Trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
He insisted that he wants to negotiate a solution to the post-Brexit issues that are affecting Northern Ireland and that it’s still possible to solve the issue with Brussels.
However, he said that the UK could trigger the Northern Ireland Protocol “reasonably and appropriately”.
European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic stated that if the British Government suspended the protocol, it would have “serious consequences” for the region as well as the relationship between the UK and the EU.
While speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London, Johnson said, “Let me say, given all the speculation, that we would rather find a negotiated solution to the problems created by the Northern Ireland Protocol, and that still seems possible.”
He added, “But if we do invoke Article 16, which by the way is a perfectly legitimate part of that protocol, we will do so reasonably and appropriately because we believe it is the only way left to protect the territorial integrity of our country, and meet our obligations to the people of Northern Ireland under the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.”
An official spokesman for the Prime Minister couldn’t confirm a deadline for when the talks would end, however, he said that “We are going to be continuing talks, intensified talks, between the two teams to try and find a consensual solution.”
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