Brexit LIVE: UK throws down final gauntlet to EU before triggering ‘nuclear option’

Brexit: Barnier wants to 'break' UK as 'punishment' says Farage

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Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the Government wants to work with the EU to find a “sustainable” long-term solution and believes “good faith” was being shown to negotiate the best way forward. The latest comments come after Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to rule out triggering Article 16, which would override parts of the problematic Northern Ireland Protocol. Mr Lewis told the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme that Article 16 conditions “have been met” and insisted while the Government could trigger it, this is not something they want to do.

He said: “We are showing our good faith in wanting to negotiate a proper, sustainable, solution by not actually triggering it.

“We have continued through this year to see different issues come up and we take the view that we need to fix the underlying problems.”

The Northern Ireland Secretary urged the EU to come “seriously to the table to have a proper conversation about how to get those core principals to work”.

The Prime Minister is convinced of triggering the so-called “nuclear option” to make a breakthrough as the EU continues to refuse the UK’s demand over renegotiating the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Mr Johnson is said to have been previously in favour of pressing ahead with this method if the EU had refused to bow to the UK’s demands.

However, he was reportedly convinced not to at the eleventh hour by his Brexit minister Lord Frost.



  • Britain to issue huge warning to EU over Northern Ireland Protocol07:39
  • Britain to issue huge warning to EU over Northern Ireland Protocol

    The UK will threaten to dispense with some of the terms of its agreement overseeing post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, warning they have become too damaging to retain.

    During a speech at the Conservative Party conference on Monday, Lord Frost will urge the EU to help find an agreed solution to the problems with the deal, according to a party statement.

    The statement said: “He will warn that ‘tinkering at the edges’ will not fix the fundamental problems with the Protocol.”

    The Brexit minister will also say the threshold for triggering Article 16 have been met.

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