Brexit: We must ‘do right by Northern Ireland’ says Davis
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The former Brexit Secretary argued that if the European Union does not renegotiate the Northern Ireland protocol then Article 16 should be triggered. He explained that it would be “better” for Northern Ireland.
Speaking to LBC, he said: “It’s perfectly sensible, it’s a mechanism they should be willing to use.
“They should go the whole distance to try and get the EU to change and if they can’t, Article 16 is the way out. It was designed that way and that’s what they have to do.
“It’s not a great outcome in negotiating terms but it’s better than leaving Northern Ireland in the situation it’s in now.”
Mr Davis added: “We have to do the right thing by Northern Ireland that’s the first thing. Not the right thing by one or other political alliance.”
Talks between the UK and EU on reducing the impact of the Northern Ireland protocol on trade are ongoing, but no major breakthroughs are expected ahead of the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections in May.
Under the current deal, border checks remain between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, as Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market under the terms of a section within the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement called the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the UK or EU are able to take unilateral “safeguarding” measures if either side concludes that aspects of the deal are causing serious practical problems or harming trade – this clause is set out as Article 16.
Triggering Article 16 would amount to suspending part of the Brexit deal, which would lead to serious diplomatic tensions between the EU and UK.
So what do YOU think? Is David Davis right that now is the time to trigger Article 16? Or is it better to avoid tensions with war already raging on the Continent? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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