'EU triggering of Article 16 was more of a cock-up than a conspiracy'

1 February 2021, 17:51

By Sam Sholli

The EU's decision to trigger Article 16 before eventually making a U-turn was "more of a cock-up than a conspiracy," a leading Irish journalist has told James O'Brien.

RTE Europe Editor Tony Connelly's words have come after the EU itself admitted it "made a mistake" with its move to override part of the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland over export controls on coronavirus vaccines.

The EU made the U-turn on Friday after condemnation from London, Dublin and Belfast over the move.

Speaking of the EU's decision to initially trigger Article 16, Mr Connelly told James: "Clearly Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Commission and her Cabinet were in charge of this, so I mean the buck stops there."

RTE's Europe Editor also said: "I think it's more of a cock-up than a conspiracy..."

He added: "The fact that they were able to reverse course so quickly would suggest this was more of a cock-up than some masterful plan..."

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove on Sunday told reporters that the EU has acknowledged it made a mistake and agreed that a "reset" on relations is needed.