EU Acknowledges It Needs To ‘Reset’ Relations With Northern Ireland.
The EU has agreed to reset its relations with Northern Ireland ‘to put the people first’ after it backed down from its ‘hostile’ decision to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, according to Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.
The Cabinet Office minister said the union had ‘recognised they made a mistake’ in pursuing Article 16 – which allows the EU and UK to choose to suspend any aspects they consider to be causing ‘economic, societal or environmental difficulties’.
The bloc faced wide condemnation for the action from London, Dublin and Belfast as it came amid a deepening dispute over delays to the production and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine across Europe.
Gove said: ‘I think the European Union recognises that they made a mistake in triggering Article 16 which would’ve meant the reimposition of a border on the island of Ireland.
‘But now the European Union has stepped back. I’ve spoken to the European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic about this and we both agreed that we need a reset, that we need to put the people of Northern Ireland first.’
It comes after Brussels backed down from plans to impose export controls on vaccines that threatened the shipment of 3.5million Pfizer doses to Britain. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made the assurance to Boris Johnson after announcing an extraordinary embargo on jabs leaving the bloc amid dwindling supplies on the Continent.
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