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Why the EU Article 16 debacle sets a dangerous precedent for the UK

A bungled attempt to trigger the “nuclear option” over Covid vaccines proves the EU misunderstands Irish border issues. 

The European Commission has rowed back on their “hugely inflammatory” attempt to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, after outcry from the British and Irish governments. The fact that it was even suggested in the first place exposes a misunderstanding of the Irish border on the part of the EU, and sets a dangerous precedent. 

On this week’s New Statesman Podcast, Stephen Bush, Anoosh Chakelian and Ailbhe Rea discuss why the decision to invoke the clause was made, and what its implications are. Then, in You Ask Us, they answer your questions on whether a nominally left-wing party can ever justify a closed border policy.

Further reading

Stephen writes that the EU doesn’t understand the Irish border any better than the Brexiteers do.

Ailbhe argues that by attempting to trigger Article 16, the EU has lost the moral high ground.

Anoosh has been following the cladding crisis, and reports here on the millions of people stuck in unsafe homes as a result.

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