WARNING: Boris Johnson has stated that the UK will break up if Britain does not take “very harsh” measures with the EU.
BORIS JOHNSON has been warned that if he does not get “extremely tough” with the European Union on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the UK will be torn apart.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was said to be on the point of invoking Article 16 and rewriting Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit commercial arrangements late last month, but his Brexit minister Lord Frost convinced him otherwise. However, it is believed that the threat to use the so-called “nuclear option” was still sent to Ireland, with UK sources stating that it is Mr Johnson, not Lord Frost, who is most in favor of invoking Article 16.
The implementation of Article 16 might cause yet another major rift with the European Union, as it is the mechanism by which either party can suspend parts of the Protocol if they consider it is causing the region significant economic or societal harm.
Mr Johnson has now been pushed to take the bold step because it would send a clear message to Brussels that the UK is now willing to “play hardball” on the Protocol, but that message must ultimately be sent by eliminating the mechanism entirely.
However, the Prime Minister has been cautioned that if he does not act quickly and get on the front foot with the EU, the UK may face a disastrous outcome.
“The UK must be extraordinarily firm in its negotiation approach, as failure to do so risks either eliminating trade and regulatory advantages from Brexit, or tearing up the United Kingdom,” said Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group think tank.
“It’s pointless to try to kick the can down the road in the expectation that the matter will magically resolve itself.
“If no significant action is taken, the EU will continue to exert effective control over Northern Irish commerce in the future.
“By invoking Article 16, the UK government would send a formal signal that they are willing to play hardball, but that signal must eventually be given by abandoning the agreement entirely.
Mr Harris-Quinney said that just four plausible outcomes exist: capitulation to the EU, significant damage to the Brexit project, and severe damage to the Union. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”