Article 16 NOW! Britons erupt at EU as stubborn bloc refuses to budge on Brexit deal

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Following unproductive talks with the EU on Friday, Express.co.uk readers have called on the UK Government to take unilateral action over Northern Ireland. Due to threats from the EU, and in particular France, Britons have claimed the EU does not want an even playing field with the UK. Commenting on an Express.co.uk story, one reader said: “Just trigger Article 16 now, that’s all they understand, it’s ok for them to cut off power and hold countries to ransom but they don’t like it when threatening them with our levers, just do it.”

Another said: “When it comes to settling disputes the last thing the EU wants is an independent level playing field.”

A third said: “Activating Article 16 did not seem a big deal to the EU when they invoked it to steal our paid for vaccines.

“So why should we see it as a big deal?”

Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol is a safeguarding mechanism which allows either side to suspend parts of the Brexit deal.

This can be triggered if the Protocol is causing “serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties”.

After informing the other party, the two sides will enter into a one-month negotiating period.

If negotiations fail, unilateral measures can be taken although the other party can implement rebalancing measures.

The EU had threatened to use Article 16 at the beginning of the EU in order to stop the export of vaccines without export authorisation.

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Prior to talks on Friday, Lord Frost warned Article 16 remained a legitimate option for the UK.

He also spoke of the large gaps between the two sides and the lack of progress made on the protocol itself.

His counterpart, Maros Sefcovic insisted little effort had been made to resolve issues between the two sides.

Mr Sefcovic said: “I found this disappointing and once again I urge the UK government to engage with us sincerely.

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“From this perspective, I see next week as an important one.

“We should focus all efforts on reaching a solution as soon as possible.

“Our aim should be to establish stability and predictability for Northern Ireland.

“We hear a lot about Article 16 at the moment, but there’ll be no doubt that triggering Article 16 to seek the negotiation of the Protocol would have serious consequences.

“Serious for Northern Ireland, as it would lead to instability and unpredictability, and serious also for the EU-UK relations in general, as it would mean a rejection of EU efforts to find a consensual solution to the implementation of the Protocol.”

Talks will continue next week between the sides.

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