Talks over the Northern Ireland Protocol continue to stall, with the UK threatening to walk away from negotiations and the EU warning it will launch a trade war if it does. The Foreign Secretary has now been presented with five choices for the UK’s next steps by Catherine Barnard, professor of EU law at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Barnard told the Guardian Ms Truss could trigger Article 16 of the Protocol, as has often been suggested, but could also rely on Section 7 (a) of the EU Withdrawal Act, which the paper notes would be “tantamount to walking away from the Brexit deal entirely”, unless just specific aspects were turned off, or Section 8 (c) of the Agreement, which would allow the Government to implement updates to an EU directive without going through Parliament. The other options are Section 38 (b) of the Agreement, which recognises the sovereignty of the UK Parliament, and Article 62 of the Vienna Convention, which allows a country to withdraw from an international treaty when “a fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred”.
Whatever route Ms Truss chooses to pursue, she has made it clear the Government has “no choice but to act”.
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