Northern Ireland: Bus set on fire near Valley Leisure Centre
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The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister warned Boris Johnson that the EU would respond in a “very serious way” if his Government triggered the clause. It is part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement and allows either side to unilaterally suspend parts of the agreement.
If applied to the Northern Ireland Protocol it would end the checks on goods between the UK and the province – something which has outraged its Unionist community.
Speaking to RTE Radio One yesterday, Mr Coveney said that if the UK Government “essentially refuses to implement the Protocol, even with the extraordinary flexibilities that are now on offer, and instead looks to set it aside then I think the EU will respond in a very serious way to that”.
His comments quickly sparked outrage from many Express.co.uk readers.
User Sparky82 raged: “Good… And Coveney, Ireland would suffer more than any other EU country.
“Seen as the majority of your trade is with the UK.”
UKHomeofTheRighteous said: “Article 16 as I recall, was triggered to prevent Covid vaccines getting to the UK.
“Only when there was a severe backlash did (EU Commission President) Ursula von der Leyen then withdraw it under advice from other EU members.
“They then tried to sweep it under the carpet and twitched every time it was mentioned after global condemnation, and after effectively showing their hand early on.
EU can’t afford to pick a fight with UK over Brexit, warns report [ANALYSIS]
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“From this point on, everyone knew the EU intended using it as a weapon.”
Profile catlady said: “EU please get on and do it.
“Time the EU proved they can carry out all the threats and nastiness they keep promising.
“After all, most voters voted to leave the EU without a deal of any kind.
What do you think about Mr Coveney’s comments? Click here and tell us below.
“We expected to go using WTO (World Trade Organisation rules). MPs messed up the delivery of our Brexit vote by not doing as we voted.
“They still have time to complete the job properly.”
Meanwhile, another reader wrote: “The EU will do whatever it takes to keep access to UK fishing waters.
“Ireland will be pushed under a bus. Simply, if access to UK waters ends, the EU collapses in weeks.”
Mr Coveney’s hostile response was provoked after Brexit Secretary Lord Frost said current EU proposals to solve the spat did not go far enough.
He told the House of Commons: “I’m not sure they would quite deliver the kind of ambitious freeing-up of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland that we want to see.”
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