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Don’t press the emergency Brexit button: European Union to Britain.

The European Union said on Friday that Britain had made no attempt to reach an agreement on post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, and warned London against using emergency unilateral provisions in the Brexit agreement.

David Frost, the Brexit negotiator for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has ruled out immediately triggering such provisions, a move that would sour relations with the European Union, worry the United States and enrage Ireland. Frost, on the other hand, made it clear that he wanted Brussels to provide more.

Maros Sefcovic, a deputy head of the bloc’s executive European Commission said that the European Union had seen no move at all from the British side.

Britain has repeatedly warned that it may invoke Article 16 emergency measures, which allow either side to take unilateral action if they believe their post-Brexit trade agreement is having a significant negative impact on their interests.

Article 16 would cause instability in Northern Ireland, according to Sefcovic, and would be a rejection of the European Unions’ attempt to reach a compromise. He stated that he would travel to London next week to continue discussions.

Britain left the EU last year, but it has since refused to implement some of the border checks between Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland. The 27-nation union claims that London is required to carry out under their divorce agreement.

The checks, according to London, are disproportionate and are escalating tensions in Northern Ireland, jeopardising a 1998 peace agreement.

Many pro-British unionists argue that the protocol violates the 1998 peace agreement by requiring checks on some goods crossing between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. The European Union claims that tighter controls are required to protect its 450 million-strong single market.

According to a spokesperson for Boris Johnson, Britain will continue to negotiate to resolve issues with the so-called Northern Ireland protocol, which governs post-Brexit trade with the province.


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