Britain is unlikely to trigger Brexit safeguards: Irish Foreign Minister

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday that he does not expect Britain to immediately trigger safeguards in the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Coveny’s comment suggested that Britain’s Brexit Minister David Frost could trigger the safeguard mechanism of Article 16 if the UK and EU could not agree on a solution to immediately address the effects of the Northern Ireland Protocol. It was issued later.

“I don’t read too much of the harsh story at the Conservative meeting,” Coveney said on RTE Radio.

“In my understanding, it is unlikely that the UK government will immediately implement Article 16,” he said.

The minister said the UK “believes that it is committed to an intensive negotiation process with the European Commission for the rest of this month.” Expressed in the implementation of the protocol. “

Mr Coveny said the Irish government and the EU had listened “very carefully” to Frost’s comments, but believed that negotiations between the two would continue.

“What we’re trying to do here is to implement it in the most flexible way possible to reduce its impact,” Coveney added.

The Northern Ireland Protocol was introduced to avoid harsh borders within the island of Ireland, leaving Northern Ireland in a single market in the EU, but instead in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. Effectively placed trade barriers. ..

The UK has called for “significant” changes to the protocol since July.

The unionist wants Prime Minister Boris Johnson to revoke the Protocol. This is a move he has resisted as the government urges renegotiations with Brussels.

At this week’s conference fringe event, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said his party needed to see the government take action “within a few weeks.”

“We need the government to set this Irish Sea border, take action, remove trade barriers within the UK, and basically restore Northern Ireland’s position in the UK’s domestic market.” Donaldson said.

He said the invocation of Article 16 was “used in the short term” but required a law “to completely return the location of Northern Ireland to Britain.”

PA and Reuters contributed to this report.

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