Article Sixteen Vandals

The European Commission has rowed back on their 'hugely inflammatory' attempt to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, after outcry from the British and Irish governments. The fact that it was even attempted in the first place exposes a misunderstanding of the Irish border on the part of the EU, and sets a dangerous precedent.

On this episode of the New Statesman Podcast, Stephen Bush, Anoosh Chakelian and Ailbhe Rea discuss why the decision was made to invoke the clause, and the implications it raises. Then, in You Ask Us, they answer your question on whether a nominally leftwing party can ever justify a closed border policy.

Further Reading:

Stephen writes that the EU doesn't understand the Irish border any better than the Brexiteers do.

Ailbhe argues that by attempting to trigger Article 16, the EU has lost the moral high ground.

Anoosh has been following the cladding crisis, and reports here on the millions of people stuck in unsafe homes as a result.

We'd love to hear from you.

Send us your You Ask Us questions at

You can follow Stephen Bush on twitter @stephenkb. Anoosh Chakelian is @Anoosh_C and Ailbhe Rea is @PronouncedAlva.

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Topics in this episode




Northern Ireland

Article 16

Northern Ireland protocol






European Commission

People in this episode

Arlene Foster

Boris Johnson

Ursula Von der Layen

Jean Claude Juncker

Keir Starmer

Stephen Bush

Anoosh Chakelian

Ailbhe Rea


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