Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, said the Republic of Ireland had started preparing for the result of the UK triggering Article 16. This would unilaterally suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol and has the potential to spark a trade war between London and Brussels.
Brexit Secretary Lord Frost has already said the UK Government is mulling over whether to trigger the clause.
This came after he claimed that EU offers to adapt the Protocol from its current state didn’t go far enough.
In response, EU officials have warned that should Article 16 be invoked the bloc would take proportional action.
Should the spat flare into a full-blown trade war the Republic of Ireland would likely suffer, leading to frantic preparations in Dublin.
“2) They put a NI ROI border in place (good luck with that)
“3) The EU accepts an electronic customs clearance system suggested in original Brexit talks.”
Bumpy Grollix wrote: “Do we really care if we are forced to rip up the entire deal and go WTO due to EU intransigence, bullying, threats and intent to punish us for leaving?
“I DON’T, DO YOU?”
They were responding to Mr Varadkar’s comments to RTE News at One this week.
He said: “If Britain were to act in such a way that it was resigning from the Protocol, resigning from the withdrawal agreement, I think the European Union would have no option other than to introduce what we call rebalancing measures to respond.
“I really hope that Britain doesn’t go down this road.
“Prime Minister Johnson always spoke about wanting Brexit done.
“Brexit is kind of done, but [this] potentially undoes it and I don’t think it would be good for us, for Great Britain, and I don’t see how it would be good for Northern Ireland.”
His comments echoed the words of Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney last week.
He said: “One is contingent on the other.
“If one is being set aside, there is a danger that the other will also be set aside by the EU.”