THE UK Government must “de-escalate” its rhetoric around the Northern Ireland Protocol, the SNP has said.

A topical motion discussing the ongoing negotiations between the UK and EU over implementing the protocol was brought in front of the conference on Sunday.

The resolution called for a “constructive and sustainable” resolution to issues over the protocol, and condemned the UK’s ongoing threat to trigger Article 16.

Article 16 is a fail-safe which either side can use if the protocol is leading to serious “economic, societal or environmental difficulties” that are likely to persist.

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It also called for the UK to change its “dangerously confrontational diplomatic stance” with the EU, particularly considering the impact of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK.

MSP Clare Adamson said that the UK, Brexit Minister David Frost, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson actively considering triggering the mechanism of Article 16 is “alarming”.

She added: “In effect the UK Government, without consultation or respect to the devolved legislatures and governments of the UK, would be unilaterally walking away from a legally and internationally binding agreement it reached and signed with the European Union.

“Conference, what an absolute embarrassment for the United Kingdom.”

Adamson called the UK diplomatic efforts on the NI Protocol and the migrant issue in the English channel an “absolute disgrace”.

The National:

We previously told how the EU warned of “serious consequences” for not only relations between the bloc and the UK, but on the people of Northern Ireland.

Adamson added that the UK could face a “ladder of retaliatory options” from the EU - including the suspension of the trade deal with the UK if Johnson ditches the current post-Brexit arrangements.

She added that this would be with “no say, no consultation, no option”.

Adamson continued: “So much to the union of equals we were all promised.

“Make no mistake, the UK Government is considering doing such a thing without the consultation of the devolved nations.

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“And it's yet another sad example about how taking back control from Brussels also means taking back control from Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.”

Sarah Cheung, who grew up in Northern Ireland, said she was “surprised” to see the motion as wading in to politics there can get “messy”.

But said she was “encouraged” to see that the motion was pushing for “constructive talks” between the UK and EU.

Cheung added that she supported the motion “cautiously” as it should be up to the devolved government what is best for the country.

She added: “This is because of the fact that Northern Ireland protocol can get very emotive and will devolve it down to the Good Friday Agreement, and these two are kind of linked together.

“I'm happy to see that the SNP is calling out the UK Government for their refusal to seek compromise with the EU when we are seeing that the EU has made a lot of compromises.”

The motion passed overwhelmingly with 367 votes in favour and 11 against.