Boris Johnson: UK will act if EU refuses to give way over Northern protocol
The Anews reported, citing Reuters, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will have a "necessity to act" if the EU is unwilling to reach a compromise in the deepening crisis over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The prime minister - who travels to Belfast on Monday (May 16) for emergency talks with the Northern Ireland parties - said the Government remained open to "genuine dialogue" with Brussels.
But amid fears of a looming trade war, he said that if there was no movement on the EU side, the Government will set out its "next steps" in a statement to Parliament "in the coming days".
His warning comes amid reports ministers could table emergency legislation as early as this week to override the protocol which requires customs checks on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Unilateral action by the British govt to denounce the Withdrawal Agreement, or disapply the Protocol is reckless.— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) May 15, 2022
Only through joint agreement with the EU can solutions to problems be found
I will tell Boris Johnson he is feeding political instability and economic uncertainty
EU leaders have said such a move would violate Britain's international treaty obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement signed by Johnson and would lead to retaliatory measures.
Boris Johnson to visit Northern Ireland on Monday amid Brexit protocol crisis
In the meantime the power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland remain suspended with the DUP refusing to join Sinn Fein in a new Executive or to allow the election of a speaker to the Assembly unless there is fundamental change to the protocol.
Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, Johnson said there was still a "sensible landing spot" where the interests of all sides are protected - including the integrity of the EU single market, which the protocol is designed to maintain.
However he said that would require movement on the part of the EU.
He said: "We have been told by the EU that it is impossible to make the changes to the protocol text to actually solve these problems in negotiations - because there is no mandate to do so."
"We will always keep the door wide open to genuine dialogue. There is without question a sensible landing spot in which everyone's interests are protected. I hope the EU's position changes. If it does not, there will be a necessity to act.
"The Government has a responsibility to provide assurance that the consumers, citizens and businesses of Northern Ireland are protected in the long-term. We will set out a more detailed assessment and next steps to Parliament in the coming days."