'Invoke Article 16!' Boris Johnson urged to issue two-week Brexit ultimatum to Brussels


Kate Hoey has urged Boris Johnson to invoke Article 16 of the Brexit protocol if the European Union keeps stalling over trade between Northern Ireland and Britain. Baroness Hoey suggested that the idea of trade border was entertained by European countries as a form of revenge against Britain’s exit from the bloc as tensions intensify of the failure to find a solution. The UK and the EU are currently negotiating to strike an agreement regarding the cutting of paperwork with the aim of lowering the numbers of checks required to move goods from the UK to the EU via Northern Ireland.

The peer insisted the protocol is “damaging” the Union and urged Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to consider triggering Article 16 within the next two weeks.

She said: “I think the Prime Minister and Liz Truss in particular, who believes very strongly in the union, should view now as the time to give the European Union perhaps two more weeks to get this sorted.

“Otherwise, we do what we can legally do from the protocol, invoke Article 16. That’s not the answer to everything but at least it shows the European Union we’re serious.”

Talking to GB News presenter Liam Halligan, the Brexiteer said that finding a peaceful solution is not impossible: “A lots of technical solutions to the issue of protecting the EU’s internal market and I understand they want to protect the internal market.

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“A lot of the technical solutions were discovered some time ago and indeed even the previous Taoiseach wanted to get meetings to discuss how to sort out some of the issues of people going back and forth across the border.

“But we realise that so little tread actually goes from Britain over into the Republic of Ireland via Northern Ireland.

“All of that could be sorted by the Irish Government themselves on behalf of the EU in their own territory.”

She continued: “There’s just no need for a border.

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“The Government is prepared to show the European Union that it’s prepared to stand up to it and then we might see some sensible suggestions and solutions because it’s not an issue that is not solvable by goodwill.”

Things came to a head and a couple of weeks ago Mr Johnson threatened to trigger Article 16 if no agreement can be reached.

He was quoted as saying: “The protocol is not working in the way that it needs to in order to guarantee the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

“I don’t believe things need to be that way, I think it could be worked differently.

“And we want our EU friends and partners to understand that.

“We will continue to work with them to get them to see things in the way that people on both sides of the Irish Sea see them.

“But in the meantime we do not remove the possibility of invoking Article 16 to protect trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”


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