A statement was released after a meeting was held to discuss the ongoing dispute between the UK and the European Union. Lord Frost warned today that the triggering of Article 16 would be the “only option” if there was no progress in the talks between the UK and the EU.
The Brexit Secretary told the UK’s “European friends” to “stay calm and keep things in proportion” during his speech in the Lords.
The post on the Foreign Affairs committee’s website said: “Today, Representatives Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, William R. Keating, Chair of the Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber Subcommittee, Earl Blumenauer, Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, and Brendan Boyle, Chair of the European Union Caucus, released the following statement on the United Kingdom’s threats to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol of the EU withdrawal agreement:
“The Northern Ireland Protocol was a significant achievement during the volatile Brexit process, and its full implementation is critical for ensuring Brexit doesn’t undermine decades of progress toward peace on the island of Ireland.
“The Good Friday Agreement and broader peace process took patience and time to build, with good faith contributions from the communities in Northern Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and others.
“However, peace can unravel quickly.
“In threatening to invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the United Kingdom threatens to not only destabilise trade relations, but also that hard-earned peace.
“We call on the UK to abandon this dangerous path, and to commit to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol in full.”
Paul Woodcraft tweeted: “In the event of a hard border on the Island of Ireland, I hope that the USA will be willing to take control as neither side would be prepared to cause violence.
“Hopefully all sides experiencing the difficulties in NI would be amenable to supporting Reunification in Border Poll.”
The warning shots came as Tom Parker, president of the British Chamber of Commerce EU, believed that Boris Johnson may be forced to go “nuclear” in this dispute.
Mr Parker told Sky News: “The position of EU leaders is one that has been evolving for some time now.
“The UK has expressed the right or indicated it would be prepared to take serious measures, like triggering Article 16.
“There has been a concern and significant discussion about the implication of this, and what the EU might do in turn, should Article 16 be triggered.
“The EU has quite a few options on the table, and that is up for serious debate.”
He added: “I think one option the EU has discussed, or at least certain member-states have put forward, is to terminate the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
“That would be the nuclear option.”