The Prime Minister is facing calls to activate Article 16 of the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol. The emergency safeguard measure will unilaterally waive parts of the protocol and remove controls and processes on goods moving to Northern Ireland.

The UK and the EU remain at odds over the long-term implementation of the protocol, which was created to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Brexiteer Ben Harris-Quinney said the protocol, agreed as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in January 2020, was flawed from the start.

The chair of the Bow Group think tank said the UK must immediately trigger Article 16 if the EU does not return to the negotiating table.

He acknowledged that the move would be “disruptive” and that the government had to be ready, but said it would open the door to “a broader renegotiation on all aspects of our relationship with the EU”.

The former government adviser said the UK would also be in a position to reassess its relations with the European Court of Human Rights, NATO and the Council of Europe.

He told Express.co.uk: “If the EU refuses to return to the negotiating table, in the interests of the sanctity of the Union, our government must trigger Article 16 and suspend the current agreement. .

“This will be disruptive, and therefore preparations must be made and the opportunity should be used to force a broader renegotiation on all aspects of our relationship with the EU, and even with EU-related institutions like the Court. European Human Rights Commission, NATO and the Council of Europe.

“We must also not ignore our bilateral relations with EU countries, especially in regions like Eastern Europe, and seek to work directly with them if necessary in order to defend the benefits of a different relationship with UK. “

READ MORE: EU retaliates en bloc to unleash legal threat in Article 16 row

Mr Harris-Quinney added: “It is not acceptable that the people of Northern Ireland are victims of a bad deal; it is a betrayal, a dereliction of duty, and it must be remedied.

“Britain needs a secure border, we cannot have a border along the Irish Sea, and a hard border in Ireland without contingency will cost Northern Ireland and everyone else dear. . “

Mr Harris-Quinney suggested that Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union could be used to resolve the crisis.

The mechanism recognizes the specific constraints of the “outermost regions” and takes into account the specific and economic needs of the country.

On Tuesday, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, who oversees the EU’s relations with Britain, said he hoped to resolve Northern Ireland’s trade problems by the end of the year. .

He again resisted any suggestion of renegotiation and warned London not to take unilateral decisions.

On Thursday evening, Lord Frost called for urgent EU action to resolve the issues and called for a formal response to the suggestions put forward by the UK this summer.

He tweeted: “The protocol clearly has a continuing negative effect on daily life and business in Northern Ireland.

“The outstanding issues now need to be addressed urgently.

“My team and I are in daily contact with the EU, but we need a full response to our July command document soon. “


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