Boris Johnson is poised to rip apart a divisive post-Brexit deal, but he may be able to do so without inadvertently triggering a key article.
Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU, the Northern Ireland Protocol was implemented, which established a customs border between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom while keeping the country in the EU’s single market.
Irish unionists, on the other hand, are unhappy with the post-Brexit deal.
The UK and EU will resume Protocol talks following Thursday’s Stormont election in Northern Ireland.
Mr Johnson’s government is expected to include plans for a bill in the next Queen’s Speech, giving new powers to unilaterally replace parts of the Protocol.
According to a UK official, the bill could be introduced soon after the new Parliamentary session begins or put on hold, and it could come with or without the UK having triggered Article 16 of the protocol, a clause that allows either side to suspend it.
“We’ve аlwаys wаnted to resolve the problems by аgreement with the EU,” а UK officiаl told Politico, “but if thаt’s not possible аnd we don’t hаve а choice, we need to do everything we cаn to protect the Belfаst / Good Fridаy Agreement.”