‘Everyone in the world is watching!’ Brexit supporters issue a final warning to the EU, promising that “action will be taken.”
SENIOR Brexiteers have warned the EU that “the world is watching” how they treat the UK as the Northern Ireland Protocol is implemented.
In a House of Commons debate, Conservative and DUP politicians lined up to criticize Brussels’ implementation of the Protocol. Sir Bernard Jenkin, a veteran eurosceptic and former Tory frontbencher, led the MPs in criticizing the European Commission.
The Northern Ireland Protocol has enraged Unionists by introducing bureaucracy and red tape.
They claim that the mechanism, which was implemented at the end of the EU transition period as part of the withdrawal deal, is producing unacceptably high trade friction between the UK and Northern Ireland.
Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, has warned the EU that unless Brussels shows more pragmatism in its implementation, he would be compelled to trigger Article 16, a legal procedure to dissolve the Protocol.
Sir Bernard warned Brussels not to play hardball in the Commons, saying, “The world is watching how the EU deals with the United Kingdom.”
“The United Kingdom will agree on what the issues are and how they must be addressed.
“The EU and the UK can work together to find common ground on how to do so.
“As a result, the rest of the world will realize that the conditions for invoking Article 16 have already been met, and action will be required.”
If there are “severe economic, sociological, or environmental challenges that are likely to persist, or trade diversion,” Article 16 authorizes the UK or EU to take unilateral action to suspend the Protocol’s implementation.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the Protocol had been “socially disruptive, economically devastating, and politically disastrous for Northern Ireland” during the Commons debate.
“The Protocol poses the greatest ever threat to the United Kingdom’s economic integrity,” he told MPs.
“Some anti-Brexit parties in Northern Ireland have advocated for a strict execution of the Protocol, which would be bad for consumers and bad for business.”
Sir Jeffrey reiterated the need to repeal the Protocol in its current form in the Commons this afternoon, saying the UK Government’s ideas for the future of the trading agreement “cannot come fast enough.”
Last month, London and Brussels agreed to postpone the implementation of some customs inspections until the end of September in order to find a solution to the resulting frictions. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”