Boris Johnson risks INFURIATING Joe Biden as Brexit agreement move sparks Tory clash


It follows disruption in Northern Irish supermarkets following the introduction of regulatory checks between the province and the rest of the UK. This has resulted in shortages of certain products which are brought over from Great Britain.

It is feared these will get worse in March when a three month “grace period” for regulations expires.

Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol allows either the UK or EU to “unilaterally take appropriate safeguard measures” if regulations lead to economic difficulties.

However, doing so could infuriate Brussels which may regard the move as against the spirit of Britain’s new trade deal with the EU.

Speaking to The Independent Tory MP Simon Hoare warned it could also anger Mr Biden.

The incoming US president has said there will be no possibility of a UK-US trade deal if the Government does anything to undermine the Northern Ireland peace agreement.

Mr Hoare said: “It would do huge damage to the Good Friday Agreement and damage the relationship between our country and the US.”

As a result of the UK-EU agreement there are now some regulatory checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the country.

This is because, unlike England, Scotland and Wales, Northern Ireland has remained part of the European single market.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson vows to rip up Brexit deal rules if port chaos continues

The new checks have infuriated Northern Irish unionists who are demanding Mr Johnson invoke Article 16.

On Wednesday Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP’s leader in Westminster, said: “The Prime Minister promised us that Northern Ireland would continue to have access to the UK internal market, yet in my constituency consumers are facing empty supermarket shelves, they can’t get parcels delivered from Great Britain.

“Small businesses can’t bring in spare parts and raw materials into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, steel importers are facing tariffs, and other problems as a result of the Northern Ireland protocol.”

On Tuesday the chief executives of ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Iceland, Co-Op and Marks and Spencer wrote to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove warning the new rules are impacting food supplies into Northern Ireland.

Photos of empty supermarket shelves have been posted on social media.

However, Mr Johnson insisted goods are moving “far better than some people had perhaps expected” during an appearance before the House of Commons Liaison Committee.

The new UK-EU trade agreement came into effect at 23:00 on December 31.

As a result, Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland, has left the European single market.

The UK no longer has to pay into the EU budget or accept laws made in Brussels.

However, it has agreed not to deviate too far from EU regulations on certain issues to maintain a “regulatory level playing field”.


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