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Sam McBride

All of a sudden, triggering Article 16 of NI Protocol doesn’t seem such a bad idea after all

Sam McBride


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PA

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For months, British threats to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol had appeared feeble. What started as chest-beating by Boris Johnson, David Frost and then Liz Truss became limply performative as they kept warning darkly of their willingness to disapply swathes of the Irish Sea border — but did nothing.

When Truss eventually turned her words into actions by publishing legislation last month, it went much further, bypassing the temporary and limited provisions of Article 16 and instead effectively promising to ditch much of the deal. While that has enraged many, it has also revealed how Machiavellian methods can work — after a fashion.


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