Brexit pressure takes its toll on EU as Irish PM ‘scared’ of Boris’ Article 16 threat

Brexit: Micheál Martin ‘quite scared’ says reporter

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Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin is “scared” about Britain’s threat to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. It has been reported by Ireland’s RTE News and the Daily Telegraph that Boris Johnson will trigger Article 16 as soon as COP26 is over. Article 16 allows parts of the Protocol to be unilaterally suspended if they are causing serious difficulties.

Speaking from Northern Ireland, GB News reporter Dougie Beattie said that Micheál Martin was panicking about the threat amid mounting pressure.

He suggested that Mr Martin’s fragile coalition in the Republic of Ireland could collapse if Boris Johnson follows through on his threat.

Mr Beattie said: “Martin, when questioned about Article 16, was very animated. Journalists here say he was very forthright.

“But if you looked at the body language of Michael Martin, he seems to be quite scared about it.”

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He continued: “If Article 16 is triggered, he knows he heads up a very rocky coalition government.

“It could trigger a collapse in the government and a new election. Sinn Fein is still the largest party in the Republic of Ireland.”

RTE’s Europe Editor Tony Connelly wrote earlier today: “The momentum towards the UK triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol is building.

“Once COP26 is out of the way, there are strong expectations that London will make its move.

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“This week the Financial Times reported that Downing Street was expanding its legal advice on triggering Article 16.”

Last week it was revealed discussions were taking place in the UK cabinet about the potential fallout for triggering Article 16 of the Protocol.

The UK has repeatedly demanded that the European Court of Justice’s role in arbitrating any Brexit disputes be removed from the Protocol.

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On Wednesday, Taoiseach Martin warned that any move to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol would be “irresponsible, unwise and reckless”.

Lord David Frost said progress at a meeting with European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic was “limited”.

He said Article 16 was “very much on the table and has been since July”.

Mr Sefcovic warned that there will be “serious consequences” if the UK triggers Article 16.

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