BREXIT could see a major trade war erupt following the ongoing fallout out surrounding Northern Ireland – and protocol attaching it to EU trade rules and regulations, it is suggested.
The Protocol, which seeks to avoid the need for a land-border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, has long been a major stumbling block both during and after Brexit negotiations. With huge opposition coming from the Unionist community in Northern Ireland, many of whom feel abandoned by Great Britain following Brexit, any move by London to suspend the plan could be a major test of European unity.
Talks between London and Brussels on the topic are set to reach a peak this month, with the EU to put forward fresh proposals, and the UK expected to deliver its own ideas as to how to resolve the situation.
If the UK fails to agree to, or in fact deliver a response satisfactory to all parties, EU states are sitting on the fence as to how to respond, with a potential trade war looming as a result.
With the Unionists stating a border down the Irish Sea has separated London and Belfast, Britain wants to take steps to reduce the number of goods being controlled to smooth the process.
The argument claims the EU should revert to a policy of trust and goodwill, which, according to the British plan, would provide assurances that goods will not travel into the Republic of Ireland, and hence the EU, from Northern Ireland.
Small compromises could appear over the next month, with a simpler process over the movement of certain goods, such as drugs. But this will not meet all the demands asked of by the UK.
Asked about the prospect of Article 16 being triggered, an EU diplomat told Politico: “There would be a trade war. But it won’t be immediate.”
The European Union however has already warned that it will not be willing to renegotiate on such a prospect, stating that Brexit talks have been settled, and the Withdrawal Agreement is now international law.
The EU Commission widely accepts Britain may wish to suspend certain parts of the Protocol before Christmas, under its Article 16 mechanism, which allows either side to act or avert trade trouble or “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties”.
Boris Johnson and his Brexit Minister David Frost believe. “Brinkwire Summary News”.