‘I regret that article 16 was mentioned’: Von der Leyen statement in full

Questions put by The Irish Times to European Commission president

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen:   “We have certainly learned from last Friday’s events that we need to redouble our efforts and caution when we are working at speed.” Photographer: Thierry Monasse/Bloomberg

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: “We have certainly learned from last Friday’s events that we need to redouble our efforts and caution when we are working at speed.” Photographer: Thierry Monasse/Bloomberg

Below are the responses in full from European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to questions posed by Irish Times Europe Correspondent Naomi O’Leary.

NOL: Now that the European Commission has shown itself willing to use article 16, seemingly quite casually, we expect opponents of the protocol to redouble their calls for the British government to override it and for this to continue for years to come whenever a problem arises. Do you understand the scale of the damage that has been done?
UVL: “Of course, I am fully aware of the sensitivity related to the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. I fought for this protocol and its implementation over the past year, and am determined to ensure it is upheld. Our sole aim in designing the export transparency and authorisation scheme is to achieve transparency on shipments of vaccines abroad, so as to make sure that this is not done to the detriment of expected deliveries in the EU.

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