Many people fear the UK government may soon trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. So, what does this mean? Article 16 allows the UK or EU to take safeguard measures if either side thinks the deal creates severe problems. So, will using these emergency eject maneuvers generate more problems than it solves? Read on to learn more.
Article 16 was always meant as a last resort – it was created for the instance that the Northern Ireland Protocol agreement caused long-term difficulties. However, the UK’s reasons for using it seem to be on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. They don’t want the European Court of Justice to have an oversight role in the agreement.
What happens if they pull the trigger?
Lord Frost, Brexit Minister, said pulling the trigger on Article 16 is a very likely scenario. So, if they do, what will happen? It could potentially demolish customs, product standards, VAT, and state aid rules. So, you see, Article 16 is not much of a “safeguard” at all.
Even though there is a 12-month notice period for the trade deal to be suspended, this doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be immediate repercussions. The EU’s response could be “explosive”, according to some analysts and trade experts. Notably, the French Government quickly planned to increase checks on goods arriving and leaving the UK during the recent fishing license dispute. Similar measures could be taken across the EU to make a point. These increased checks would create more delays.
This is a very complicated and unpredictable situation. But we’ll keep an eye on it as it develops! By partnering with All Points, we’ll monitor all industry changes to ensure your cargo gets to its destination quickly and efficiently!