We have looked carefully at the safeguards provided by article 16 of the protocol.
They exist to deal with significant societal and economic difficulties, as well as trade diversion.
There has been significant disruption to east-west trade, a significant increase in trade on the island of Ireland as companies change supply chains, and considerable disruption to everyday lives.
There has also been societal instability, seen most regrettably with the disorder across Northern Ireland at Easter. Indeed the false, but raw, perception in the unionist community of separation from the rest of the United Kingdom has had profound political consequences.
These are very serious effects which have put people, businesses and the institutions of the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement under strain. It is plainly clear that the circumstances exist to justify the use of article 16.
Nevertheless we have concluded that it is not the right moment to do so. Instead, we see an opportunity to proceed differently, to find a new path.