Constant threats to invoke Article 16 help no one according to Fine Gael’s European Affairs spokesperson.
Dublin Rathdown TD, Neale Richmond has called on all sides to focus on upcoming talks, rather than lead with pointless threats.
“A new year and a new British Brexit negotiator give everyone a chance to reset the previous discussion and focus on making the Protocol work for everyone in Northern Ireland.
“The decision by the UK’s Foreign Secretary to pre-empt her first meeting with European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, by stressing her preparedness to invoke Article 16 in the British press helps no one.
“Over the last year, the European Commission has been proactive and positive in its approach to resolving any issues, perceived or actual, with the Protocol. The suite of measures announced by the Commission, following in depth engagement on the ground in Northern Ireland, were practical and generous.
“Ultimately the Protocol is something this British Government negotiated, ratified and campaigned on in a General Election; it is not a foreign construct or a handy distraction to misuse for domestic political gain.
“There is a window now to iron out the implementation of the Protocol. Constant threats to invoke Article 16 or indeed to collapse Stormont help no one.
“It’s time to focus on upcoming talks, rather than lead with pointless threats.”