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The European Union could move to halt its trade agreement with the UK if London suspends large parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol via Article 16, the president of the British Chamber of Commerce to the EU and Belgium Tom Parker told MNI.
“It really depends on how Article 16 gets triggered – if it’s done in a rather narrow way, following the procedure set out in the (Northern Ireland) Protocol, then it’s probable the EU response will be equally measured. It would use the mechanism set out in Article 16 itself to try and resolve the situation,” Parker said.
“However, if Article 16 is triggered and then the UK basically imposes fairly broad and blanket measures and does not follow the various different provisions within the protocol, then the EU would in all likelihood begin the process of suspending the TCA (Trade and Cooperation Agreement),” he said.
The EU could use a 12-month cooling-off period provided for in the legal text to “make life very difficult for the UK, closing borders to a standstill and suspending the Data Adequacy agreement, he said.