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A Suspended Northern Ireland Protocol Could Snowball Into a Greater EU-U.K. Rift

MIN READOct 5, 2021 | 17:49 GMT

Police officers stand guard as pro-British loyalists protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol at Belfast Harbour on July 3, 2021.

Police officers stand guard as pro-British loyalists protest against the Northern Ireland protocol at Belfast Harbour on July 3, 2021. 

(Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Should the United Kingdom follow through on its threat to suspend the Northern Ireland protocol, it’d kick off a new round of tense negotiations with the European Union -- increasing the chances of tariff hikes that could jeopardize their free trade agreement, while undermining other aspects of the bilateral relationship. The United Kingdom’s Brexit Minister, David Frost, said during the annual conference of the Conservative Party on Oct. 4 that the British government was ready to suspend parts of the EU-U.K. Northern Ireland protocol unless Brussels agreed to reform it. At a separate event later that day, Frost added that the United Kingdom would make such a decision if no progress was made in three weeks, setting early November as a potential date for an escalation of the conflict with the European Union. ...

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