LondonBritish Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Saturday before talks with the European Union that Britain was ready to take unilateral action to suspend customs controls on goods destined for Northern Ireland.
Truss is due to hold talks with European Union Vice President Maros تشيevewicz next week to resolve differences over post-Brexit trade arrangements for Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with EU member Ireland.
To avoid controversial border controls between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the UK and the EU agreed that Northern Ireland would remain within the EU’s customs union for goods, and that controls would be implemented on the movement of goods instead between the UK and Northern Ireland.
However, there have been disagreements about how to apply this in practice
Especially in the case of merchandise scheduled to remain within Northern IrelandAs well as the arbitration role of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
“I want a negotiated solution, but if we have to use legal provisions, including Article 16, I’m ready to do it,” Truss wrote in The Telegraph.
He said “a deal must be reached”, but added: “I will not sign anything that would mean that Northern Irish citizens cannot benefit from the same tax and spending decisions as the rest of the UK, or that they continue to be subject to control of goods traded through our country.”
Under Article 16, the UK and the EU can unilaterally decide to stop parts of the protocol governing trade with Northern Ireland if there are significant practical problems or the trade is diverted.
Truss replaced David Frost as Britain’s top Brexit negotiator in December after resigning in protest of differences with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government.
Frost often raised the possibility that Article 16 could be invoked if talks were halted.
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