British minister ruled out suspension of transactions with Ireland before Christmas

After the cabinet ministers ruled out an all-out confrontation with the EU, Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiation strategy for Northern Ireland fell into chaos Before Christmas.

The Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, stated that the UK has “absolutely no” intention to trigger the Article 16 procedure in the coming weeks, which will take precedence over the Northern Ireland trade arrangement after Brexit .

Her comments confirmed a report in the Financial Times last week that the ministers hoped that the Christmas truce would allow the negotiators of the United Kingdom and the European Union time to try to reach a compromise on Northern Ireland’s border arrangements.

“I don’t think anyone will call Article 16 before Christmas, absolutely not,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

Trevelyan’s comments weakened the position of Lord David Frost, the Brexit minister, who insisted that the government is ready to activate Article 16 and insisted that it was “on the table”.

Trevelyan suggested that the government hope that Frost and his EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic will continue to negotiate for a period of time, and said that they “will work hard to do what the negotiators do.”

Negotiations between the two parties are continuing to try to soften the application of the so-called Northern Ireland Agreement, which is part of the Brexit agreement that deals with Northern Ireland’s trade relations.

The agreement will leave Northern Ireland in the European Union’s single commodity market to prevent a North-South trade border on the island of Ireland, but it means some checks on trade between the UK and the region.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “If we can, we still tend to negotiate a solution.” “Of course, if we can’t find a solution, we will use Article 16, the security mechanism.”

When asked directly whether the government is willing to trigger Article 16 before Christmas, the spokesperson seemed to deny what Trevelyan said, saying: “Well, I will not set a timetable for this.”

In addition, at the hearing of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, said that the port is preparing for a comprehensive inspection of EU imports starting in July next year.

Ballantine said that “in terms of physical space, there should be sufficient capacity,” but added that there are “reservations” as to whether there are enough veterinarians and other officials to conduct inspections.

“If government officials, departments and agencies start to want to extract more than 90% of the goods for various inspections, then you will have capacity problems,” he told members of Congress.

At the same time, Nigel Farage, the former leader of the Brexit Party, stated that he was considering a political comeback after the ongoing immigration crisis in the English Channel, but added that his “gut feeling” was not to do so. .

Farage is now the host of GB News. However, Conservative MPs worry that at some point, the anti-immigration party of the Conservative Party’s rights may reappear to guide public dissatisfaction with the immigration issue.

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