The UK seeks a “real negotiation between us and the EU” to resolve the stalemate over the Northern Ireland (NI) protocol, while the EU appears determined to stick to its guns.
Lord David Frost, Britain’s Brexit minister, has recently warned that should the EU decide not to budge on the post-Brexit trading arrangements, London will consider invoking the Article 16 safeguards.
Article 16 of the NI protocol is a safeguard clause allowing either side to dispense with applying the protocol if it “leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist”.
According to the UK, the post-Brexit checks on goods shipped between the EU and the UK single markets, have had a disruptive effect on trade. While London is seeking a fundamental overhaul of the NI protocol, Brussels wants no changes to the current agreement.
The latest word from the EU has reportedly indicated that the bloc is ready to keep negotiating the deal but refuses to renegotiate the provisions of the NI protocol.
After 1 January, new rules and border processes were applied to trade between the UK and the European Union. With Northern Ireland sharing a border with the Republic of Ireland, a EU member, the process implementation has been delayed.