By Padraic Halpin և John Chalmers
DUBLIN – The European Commission did not appeal to Ireland before it briefly sought to restrict some COVID-19 vaccine exports, citing a Brexit emergency in Northern Ireland, the Irish Minister for European Affairs said on Saturday.
The EU abruptly changed its plan on Friday to use Article 16 to restrict the export of COVID-19 vaccines to the United Kingdom after crossing the border into the United Kingdom after the quake in Northern Ireland, London and Dublin. :
The preliminary decision to use the Brexit clause, which is part of the EU’s broader plan to control vaccine exports, has shown how a reasonably regulated Brexit protocol in Northern Ireland can be disrupted, as has the vaccine panic.
“This type of provision is standard in trade agreements, but in the case of Northern Ireland, it obviously has a different political implication. It may be that the bill has not been fully evaluated,” Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Minister, told Newstalk.
“It is clear that a mistake was made,” Byrne said. “It is too early for me to say (how it happened) … It is clear that the consequences of Article 16 have not been fully considered, it is unfortunate, but at the moment it is a lesson for all of us.”
Asked if any warning had been given to Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin about the planned implementation of the provision, which was intended as a precondition for easing serious trade disruptions in Northern Ireland after Brexit, Beer said he was not.
Three high-ranking EU diplomats say they have neither consulted nor been informed of the Commission’s decision on the member states.
“It seems that the Commission made this decision unilaterally,” said the EU official.
The official said that the aim of the Commission was to include Northern Ireland in the vaccine export control regime, but that, in fact, created a land border on the island of Ireland, which had to step back when it realized the consequences.
Maintaining the 1998 The peace deal, which ended three decades of sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland without allowing Britain to enter the EU back through the UK’s land border with Ireland, led to the inclusion of a protocol in the British divorce deal.
The protocol achieved this by keeping Northern Ireland in both the EU Commodity Market and the UK Customs Area, “is not a bad thing,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Cowen warned on Friday.