Brexit ultimatum: EU told to resolve disputes or UK ‘will take matters into our own hands’

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Businesses have suffered due to the Northern Ireland protocol and David Jones deputy-chairman of the European Research Group and Tory MP for Clwyd West warned Brussels must resolve the issues in the country. Due to the escalation of tensions, Mr Jones told the UK Government is ready to come to a resolution over the protocol and would like to negotiate with Brussels. If Brussels is unwilling to resolve the problems in Northern Ireland due to the protocol, Mr Jones warned the UK will not hesitate to take matters into its own hands to protect the peace in the country.

He said: “We can either resolve issues via negotiations with the EU.

“Which is, frankly, what we would like we would like to get by agreement.

“But if that is not possible, then of course, it may be necessary for the Government to legislate domestically, which of course, they’re quite entitled to do by virtue of Section 38 of the EU withdrawal agreement act which recognises the sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament.

“So as a matter of law, we have the right to do that.”

Section 38 of the withdrawal agreement refers to the sovereignty of the UK Parliament.

It states the UK Parliament’s sovereignty is paramount within what was agreed in the withdrawal agreement.

There is also article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol which allows either the UK or the EU, to take unilateral action should the legislation cause serious economic distress or leads to a diversion of trade.

Some have called on the UK Government to use article 16 due to issues businesses have suffered since the turn of the year.

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Mr Jones added: “The protocol does appear to be causing disruption.

“There’s no question about that.

“There are remedies that we’ve got available to us under Article 16 if necessary, but I think that what we need to do is not simply put in place temporary measures.

“What we need is a permanent reevaluation and reassessment of the relationship, which might be possible under the terms of the protocol, but if it proves not, then the British government is going to have to legislate because we can’t have a state of affairs where an important part of the UK is being disciplined.”

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Trade friction has increased in Northern Ireland due to the protocol which leaves the country within the EU’s single market.

Although avoiding a hard border in Ireland, the protocol does create a customs border in the Irish Sea.

As result, goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will have customs checks applied which some have claimed has left the country isolated from the rest of the UK.

Speaking on Thursday, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I think the Prime Minister and Lord Forst have been listening, they have been putting out some very good statements in relation to dealing with the protocol.

“But now we need to see action, and we need to see action quite soon, because every day the protocol remains the way it is, there’s more damage done to Northern Ireland.

“We’ve said all along when the European Commission tried to invoke Article 16 at the end of January, that the Europeans were quite happy to do it in terms of vaccines and making sure that they had enough vaccines.

“This is doing real damage to Northern Ireland in terms of our trade, but also in terms of the union and therefore the Prime Minister needs to act and I hope that Lord Frost will bring forward proposals very very soon.”

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