Depends if it's clause 1, 2 or 3. It could be clarified in Annexe 7.
And on that bombshell, goodnight!
They're genuine points. 😇
Nicked from this report:
"Article 16 provides both the UK and the EU with a unilateral power to take action should the application of the Protocol give rise to ‘serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist, or to diversion of trade.’
Both parties are restricted in the action they can take to address any such issues. It must be limited to the scope of where the problems exist (i.e. a response cannot be taken that will alter the application of the Protocol in any unrelated respect) and there is a process in place which means action cannot happen on a whim or go unchecked.
Article 16 does not provide any detail on what constitutes a ‘serious’ impact or what is meant by ‘diversion of trade’. What causes a serious impact in one place might not in another, so this ambiguity allows for interpretation at a later point.
If unilateral action is deemed necessary by either the UK or the EU, this starts a process, outlined in Annex 7 of the Protocol. Before any action is taken, the party considering it must work through the Joint Committee to notify the other ‘without delay’.
The UK and the EU will immediately enter talks through the Joint Committee with a view to finding ‘a commonly acceptable solution.’ "
Think of N Ireland being I'm the middle of a Venn diagram with a permeable border both with GB and the EU. Either side can trigger Article 16 unilaterally creating a firm, theoretically short term, border so they can control access on certain goods.
The EU did this, supposedly in error, earlier this year when they wanted to prevent vaccines they thought were EU ones getting to the UK via this backdoor.
The government are pushing through a plan to sell off NHS health data of every patient in England to third parties companies, similar to the plan proposed by Cameron in 2013. Unlike 2013, they’ve done no PR and made no announcements about it all, trying to push it through on the sly. They’ve left it up to GP’s to communicate this and due to the pandemic and the massive medical backlog they’ve been facing, often this just hasn’t been a priority for them (understandably).
Now, this may have good intentions for research and the data is supposed to be largely anonymous, I don’t have much trust in the government and the NHS handling such data in secure and confidential way, especially after recent breaches committed by certain NHS trusts. Recent Cyber attacks also concern me.
More about this here if anyone is interested, it includes a form to opt out too.