European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
Who triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol without consulting Dublin?
Via Tony Connelly at RTÉ News:
…Several well-placed sources are of the firm view that the text was drafted by an official within the UK Task Force, ie, Michel Barnier’s team.
…The sources say this was not a collective effort by the Task Force, and that Barnier himself, and his chief advisers who were involved in both the Withdrawal Agreement and the recently concluded trade negotiations, were not in the loop.
As such, the belief is that the individual who drafted the text did so at the direction of Ms von der Leyen’s cabinet.
However, another senior Commission source strongly denies this suggestion…
…Whoever was involved at the last minute on Friday, the first Dublin found out about the paragraph was when it broke in the media, around 4pm Irish time. Senior officials in the Department of the Taoiseach had been working on the travel issue when phones began going off…