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Irish premier Martin said it would be “reckless and irresponsible” to trigger Article 16, but refused to discuss the possibility of a trade war between the UK and the EU.

“I think we should be aware of self-fulfilling prophecies as well,” he said when asked if a trade war is looming.

“Nothing, as I say, is certain in that regard, because we’ve been here before and negotiations are still under way.”

He added: “There’s still engagement between the European Union and the UK.

“As I said in the Dail last week, and I stand over my comments, I think it would be reckless and irresponsible to trigger Article 16.

“I believe that all parties need to take on board the fundamental importance of the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, and the relationship between Irish government and the British government, in terms of what has happened over the last 30 years.”

Article 16

Martin said it is not inevitable that the UK Government will trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He urged the UK Government to consider the damage such a move would cause for Britain’s relationships with the EU and Ireland.

“Obviously, European Union/United Kingdom relations are very important over time and they should be a relationship that’s built on sustained trust, they should be constructive,” he said.

“They should lead to the mutual benefit of citizens of the UK and citizens of the European Union.“

The relationship between Ireland and Great Britain is a fundamental one, the relationship between the two governments over 30 years has been central to the peace process, central to the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement.

“There’s an obligation on all parties to take those two fundamental sets of relationships into account before any action is taken.”

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