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Why Article 16 is no magic bullet to fix the Irish Sea border

Katy Hayward and David Phinnemore


To invoke it in wrong circumstances could even make the problems worse, write Katy Hayward and David Phinnemore

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Problematic: The early days following Brexit have not been plain sailing, with additional checks and controls for the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Problematic: The early days following Brexit have not been plain sailing, with additional checks and controls for the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Problematic: The early days following Brexit have not been plain sailing, with additional checks and controls for the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, told Westminster yesterday that his Government "will have no hesitation in invoking Article 16" of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol "if there are problems that we believe are disproportionate" in its operation.

His assurance came in response to a question from Sir Jeffrey Donaldson outlining some of the difficulties that have been encountered in the movement of goods across the Irish Sea since the end of the Brexit transition period.

And these are early days yet. Could Article 16 really be a magic bullet to fix the so-called Irish Sea border?


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