Article 16 decision is a grave error in judgment

Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that a decision by the European Commission to invoke Article 16 of the Ireland Protocol in relation to vaccine exports undermines progress made to defend the interests of this island.

The Foyle MP said we should all approach the fight against Covid-19 as internationalists, working together to find solutions.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“The disproportionate decision to invoke Article 16 of the Ireland Protocol by the European Commission is a grave error in judgment that undermines the work that has taken place over the last five years to defend the interests of people on this island.

“We face acommon threat. Our response to this virus, and to the supply of vaccines, should be characterised by our common values. I am a proud European because I believe in cooperation, compromise and solidarity across national borders. This decision sadly places the Commission at odds with those values.

“Front line workers who have stretched themselves to exhaustion to keep people safe and administer a vaccine programme will find their hearts breaking at political manoeuvres in stark contrast with their solemn oaths to do no harm.

“We are engaging with the British and Irish Governments and with the EU to make absolutely clear that treaty commitments designed to protect Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland must be treated with the seriousness with which they were entered into.”

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