Brexit ROW: EU ambassador blasts UK for ‘constant agitating’ on Article 16 ‘Not helpful!’

EU ambassador to UK criticises 'unhelpful' Article 16 'agitating'

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Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida said threats to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol were “not helpful” and that the EU was “not impressed” by Britain’s efforts in seeking a resolution to the trade chaos in Northern Ireland. He also claimed that the trade problems currently being experienced in Northern Ireland was not a result of the Protocol but in fact “Brexit” as he set about a devastating attack on the UK.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips that comments made by Chief Brexit negotiator Liz Truss that Article 16 will be triggered imminetly if the EU fail to bend on the Protocol were threats the EU have heard before.

Mr Vale de Almeida slammed: “We have heard this before from the Government and we are not surprised..

“We are still not very impressed but we still believe it is not very helpful that we keep agitating the issue of Article 16.”

He claimed the EU are “focused on trying to find solutions” to the trade carnage as he attempted to put Britain on the naughty step following ongoing negotiations to end the disruption caused.

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He went on: “But let me remind you of a very simple point: the problems arised and were triggered by Brexit! Not by the Protocol.

He said the Protocol instead “tries to mitigate the serious problems created in Northern Ireland created by the kind of Brexit that was chosen”.

The ambassador went on to claim that invoking Article 16, which would see the UK take control of the Protocol, “is not going to contribute to find solutions”.

Mr Vale de Almeida said: “Invoking Article 16, or invoking issus which are not the core concern of citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland…

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“And we have been lsitening to them very attentively…

“Doing Article 16, or enlarging the scope of problems, is not going to contribute to find solutions.”

Ms Truss said she will suggest “constructive proposals” to her EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic this week during their first face-to-face talks.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Ms Truss said it is her “absolute priority” to resolve the “unintended consequences” created by the protocol.

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She said triggering the Article would “maintain peace in Northern Ireland” as she lay down the line with the bloc.

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