On the 2nd of February, Andrew called on the Government to re-examine the Northern Ireland protocol, after the EU's decision to unilaterally invoke Article 16. Below is the full exchange:
Andrew Rosindell M.P. As someone who cares passionately about our United Kingdom and Northern Ireland’s permanent place within it, does the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster agree that the European Union’s willingness to trigger article 16 as soon as it was in its interests clearly undermines its claims during the negotiations that a border in Northern Ireland was not something that it could tolerate? Does he also agree that the Government should now seek to replace the Northern Ireland protocol with the EU because the EU has clearly shown that it was not simply about the interests of Northern Ireland, but more about its own economic and political control? The EU has been shown up for what it really is, and it is time that we put the interests of the United Kingdom and the people of Northern Ireland first.
Michael Gove M.P. I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that we have to put the interests of all the citizens of the United Kingdom, including the citizens of Northern Ireland, absolutely first. I also agree that it was regrettable that just 28 days after the protocol came into effect, it was the EU that decided to trigger article 16 in the way in which it did. I want to work with those in the EU who are genuinely committed to the interests of the people of Northern Ireland, such as Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, because the most important thing for me now is to do everything I can to help ensure that the lives of people in Northern Ireland are improved. My hon. Friend makes a fair point about the need to take a step back and look at all these issues in the round.