US President Joe Biden has warned Boris Johnson over triggering Article 16 to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol as the UK continues tempestuous negotiations with the EU.
The Protocol constitutes part of the post-Brexit Britain’s border stipulations with Northern Ireland, the idea being to avoid a hard border between both entities.
Under the conditions proposed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, Northern Ireland, which is not covered in the Brexit agreement remains in the EU single market, meaning checks would be conducted on on goods arriving from mainland Britain.
Despite reasonable concessions with regard to checks on goods being made by the EU, the UK government is still considering triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to nullify the deal should the European bloc fail to remove the European Court of Justice as the sole arbitrators in event of a conflict between both sides.
According to sources inside the White House, President Biden asked his staff for an update on the negotiations between both sides on Tuesday.
A source within the Presidency said Mr Biden has cautioned 10 Downing that they “should not do anything that could jeopardize the 1998 Good Friday Agreement”.
President Biden believes the Protocol protects the 1998 peace deal, agreed after The Troubles.
Biden’s warning re-emphasises an earlier call during a one-on-one meeting with Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly where he stressed the importance of protecting the peace deal.
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