Trade war with UK is not inevitable, says Micheál Martin

Britain and the EU cannot allow the threat of a trade war to become a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, Micheál Martin said yesterday.

The taoiseach said it would be reckless and irresponsible for the UK to trigger Article 16 and suspend parts of the Northern Ireland protocol, but that it was not inevitable. He urged both sides to consider the Good Friday agreement before taking firm action.

Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, said yesterday that support for the peace process was “falling away” in some unionist quarters because of how the protocol is being implemented. The protocol, part of the Brexit deal, ensures there is no hard border on the island of Ireland.

Simon Coveney, the foreign minister, raised fears of a trade war on Sunday by