As the UK loses patience with the EU over Brexit, Lord Frost puts out an Article 16 schedule.
LORD FROST is planning to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol as early as next month, warning the EU that “we cannot wait indefinitely.”
The Brexit minister, speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, said the Protocol’s difficulties were wreaking havoc on Northern Ireland. He cautioned Brussels that “tinkering at the edges” will not fix the frictions generated by the Protocol in a speech directed as much at the EU as at the Tory members in the chamber.
In order to find a solution, he suggested that the EU be more “ambitious.”
However, he sent a caution to Brussels, saying that a solution must be found immediately to avoid the UK using the legal mechanism that suspends the Protocol’s implementation.
“We can’t wait forever,” he remarked. If no agreement is reached soon, we will be forced to use the Article 16 safeguard mechanism to address the Protocol’s implications on Northern Ireland.
“In the end, that may be the only way to defend our country – our people, our trade, our territorial integrity, the peace process, and the benefits of this wonderful United Kingdom, of which we are all a part.”
According to reports, the government has set a deadline of the end of next month for finding a way to avoid deploying nuclear power.
Article 16 would be triggered at the start of December, senior government officials told The Times, unless the EU began a “serious engagement.”
Lord Frost presented his command paper in July, outlining his plans to rewrite the Protocol in order to make it more long-term sustainable.
It includes removing the European Court of Justice as the deal’s arbiter and eliminating cumbersome checks on goods traveling to Northern Ireland that have no risk of joining the single market.
Lord Frost remarked this morning, “We expect a formal answer from the EU to our recommendations.”
“However, based on what I’ve heard, I’m concerned that we won’t obtain one that allows for the big shift we require.”
“We can get back to where we wanted to be – an independent Britain with amicable relations with the EU based on free trade,” he added.
The European Commission is anticipated to release its own ideas to address the issues that have arisen. “Brinkwire News Summary.”