In the midst of the "autumn storm" that stalks the country - with the triple crisis of supplies, of energy and the Covid - the Government of Boris Johnson has decided to shake the flag of the Ireland Protocol and has threatened an imminent resignation Unilateral to the most controversial point of the Brexit Agreement.
In a pressing tone and before the captive audience of the Conservative Party in Manchester, the Chief Negotiator David Frost proclaimed "the end of the bad dream of belonging to the EU" and warned Brussels of the intention of his country to invoke the feared article 16 and unilaterally renounce the protocol.
"It may be in the end the only way to protect our country, our people and our territorial integrity, and to guarantee the peace process and the benefits of this great United Kingdom attached to which we all belong," Frost said before hundreds of militants " Tories ".
"We can not wait eternally," Johnson's trust man warned for Brexit. "If we do not agree soon a solution, we will need to act using article 16, which is a safeguard mechanism to deal with the impact that the Protocol is having in Northern Ireland."
Article 16 is effectively a clause that empowers, both the United Kingdom and the European Union, to step on the brake against "serious economic, social or environmental difficulties that may persist." The EU was in fact the first to threaten with the invocation of the Fatidic article in the midst of the Vaccine crisis of the VOCID at the beginning of the year.
The protocol creates the closest to an internal custom between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, precisely to avoid returning the "hard" border inside the island. Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland remains aligned with the single market, which forces EU controls in Belfast and other ports.
London has accused Brussels of exercising those controls with excessive zeal and applying the protocol "with a hard hand" and without the necessary flexibility for it to work. Northern entrepreneurs have, however, have expressed their fear of an even greater economic impact with the effective renunciation of the se sealed agreement in their day with the EU (Curiously, Northern Ireland has escaped in the last week to the supply crisis. of truckers who have caused endless queues in the gas stations of England).
During the first months of entry into force, the protocol resulted in "jams" in the customs and supply problems in Northirland supermarkets. Unionist parties exploded the social discomfort, which exploded last April with the greatest clashes between Protestants and Catholics in the streets of Belfast in the last decade.
The four unionist forces, captained by the Unionist Democratic Party (DUP), sealed last week an alliance asking for the repeal of the Protocol. The leader of the DUP, Jeffrey Donaldson, has threatened to get the game from him from the government of unity and force a political crisis of unpredictable consequences that could end up with early elections at the end of the year.
Given the growing political pressure, the Government of Boris Johnson has decided to urge the EU to put on the table "ambitious proposals" to renegotiate the protocol in the coming days. "From what I have heard, I am worried that we do not have an answer that allows us to introduce the significant change we want," concluded David Frost, who warned that political and social support for the protocol "has collapsed".Updated Date: 04 October 2021, 10:13