Northern Ireland Protocol: what comes next?
A new phase in the negotiations on post-Brexit arrangements for the internal Irish border begins on Tuesday. The UK's Brexit minister David Frost is to present a new proposal. Counterproposals from Brussels are expected on Wednesday. The UK is threatening to trigger Article 16, which would lead to the suspension of parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Protocol must be renegotiated
Britain's Brexit minister Lord Frost must not settle for ridiculously small gestures from the EU, the Daily Telegraph insists:
“But we've come to a point at which the ever-so-patient Lord Frost may be compelled to invoke Article 16 and suspend parts of the Protocol. The Agreement was born out of a tragic period of weakness in British politics – now resolved ... . Boris Johnson had to swallow the Protocol to avoid 'no deal': the result was an unequal treaty, which no self-respecting nation would ever regard as a settled matter.”
UK playing a dangerous game
Brussels and Dublin must not allow themselves to be intimidated, The Irish Independent comments:
“The persistent background threat by London to set aside the North's special trade status by invoking the so-called Article 16 provisions continue to cast a shadow over the upcoming talks. The UK government tries to depict itself as a model of forbearance on this, arguing that the conditions for triggering this clause already exist – but it is holding back as a goodwill gesture. ... London already knows they are playing a dangerous game here and risking all future co-operation with the EU as a close neighbour.”