LIVE UPDATES: Brexit - ‘NI Protocol here to stay and that’s a fact’ says Irish Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne - Minister Byrne first found out via social media European Commission invoked Article 16 of NI Protocol - Agriculture Minister ‘used staff as pawns in DUP’s campaign against Protocol’

The Irish government’s Minister for EU Affairs, Thomas Byrne, TD, has dispelled the notion that the United Kingdom and the European Commission can or will scrap the Northern Ireland Protocol

Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 2:12 pm

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LIVE UPDATES: Brexit NI - ‘NI Protocol here to stay and that’s a fact’ says Irish Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne

Last updated: Tuesday, 09 February, 2021, 12:24

  • ‘NI Protocol here to stay and that’s a fact’ says Irish Minister 
  • Irish government demanding early warning system from EC for NI Protocol
  • Thomas Byrne TD heard about invocation of A16 via social media
  • Michael Gove to meet with EC to discuss protocol on Thursday

‘NI Protocol here to stay and that’s a fact’ says Irish Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne

The DUP want it scrapped but the Northern Ireland Protocol is “here to stay” said Irish Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne.

Minister Byrne made the comments while giving evidence at a meeting of Dublin’s Joint Committee for European Affairs on Tuesday morning.

Minister Byrne also dispelled any suggestion the Northern Ireland Protocol could be scrapped if Article 16 is scrapped.

"The Northern Ireland Protocol is here to stay.

"No one can invoke Article 16 to get rid of the protocol.

“That’s not going to happen and that’s a fact.”

Minister Byrne said all of issues that have arisen as a result of Brexit can be solved within the confines of the protocol.

Minister Byrne did however hint that the European Commission might be open to what he described as a “modest extensions” to the grace periods for specific trade sectors contained within the protocol.

Sinn Fein accuses DUP of using DAERA staff as ‘pawns’

Irish Minister for EU Affairs tells Oireachtas committee he first heard EC triggered Article 16 was when he checked social media while out for a walk

Irish Minister for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne, TD.

The Irish government’s Minister for EU Affairs, Thomas Byrne, TD, has revealed the first he heard the European Commission had invoked Article 16 of the NI Protocol was when he checked social media while he was out for a walk.

Minister Byrne told the Joint Committee on European Union Affairs that the European Commission did not consut with the Irish government before it triggered Article 16 of the protocol on Friday January 30.

Minister Byrne also told the committee that the Irish government was now asking for an “early warning system” which would mean the European Commission would be mandated to provide the Irish government with notice before triggering Article 16 in the future.

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