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Brussels warns that Britain’s threat to the Northern Ireland Protocol could break peace

EU Brexit negotiators urged the UK to negotiate with Brussels in Northern Ireland, warning that breaking the trade deal could be damaging. Regional peace and stability..

Maroš Chefchovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, said: British threat Next week, draft a bill that does not apply part of the Northern Ireland Protocol that governs Ireland’s post-Brexit trade.

In an interview with FT, Chef Chovic described the Protocol as “a means for peace.” “I don’t know why this is [UK move] It promotes peace, stability and predictability in Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland. “

The UK Government has received legal advice that it is justified to invalidate part of the Protocol in support of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which brought peace to the region.

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party on Friday effectively blocked the election of new speakers in parliament in the region. Preventing the formation of cadres, Until the protocol is discarded.

Unionists say the deal undermines relations with the United Kingdom in the region as it creates a trading border for commodities in the Irish Sea.

Chef Chovic did not state how Brussels would respond to Britain’s unilateral move on the Protocol, but said it was “unacceptable” to change international agreements of less than two years.

“I am with all EU member states [European] Congress, “he said.

The EU ambassador told FT that Brussels would respond calmly and “firmly” to London’s one-sided actions. “Continuous attacks on the protocol are not only totally useless, but also totally irresponsible, and given the risk of polarization within Northern Ireland, we are playing with fire,” the ambassador said.

Diplomats said the EU is likely to wait for UK law on the Protocol to pass parliament before responding. However, the measures it can take include the abolition of the UK’s post-Brexit trade cooperation agreement. This will introduce tariffs on UK exports to the single market.

However, diplomats pointed out that in the meantime Brussels could resume legal action against London for failing to carry out a full border crossing in Northern Ireland. To strengthen the negotiation process, we suspended the process in July 2021.

Chef Chovic said Northern Ireland has “unique opportunities” to grow its economy as part of both the UK and EU markets, adding that the region’s business community supports the current deal. rice field. However, he warned that protocol uncertainty is holding back investment.

“There are lots of new investment opportunities on the shelves … because these big investors from the US, Canada and Europe … we’re watching how this evolves,” he said. ..

Chef Chovic said that if the UK decides to revoke the Protocol, Brussels will have to impose customs and animal health checks on goods, but where and how these checks are done. Did not mention.

“Of course, we are responsible for the integrity of the single market as a whole, and I think it’s very clear that having an unprotected backdoor to the single market is unacceptable,” he says. I did.

Dublin fears that unilateral action by Britain could disrupt trade with the EU. Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, warned in an interview with the BBC on Friday that the Irish economy could be “collateral damage.”

Chef Chovic acknowledged that the Protocol is proposing to impact UK trade and ease restrictions on UK cargo destined for Northern Ireland. “We know how to reduce checks by 80% if we work together, and we are proposing high-speed lanes. The same is true for customs clearance, which is reduced by at least half.”

But Britain’s Foreign Minister Liz Truss argues that Britain’s cargo destined for Northern Ireland should never be in control.

Chef Chovic said such changes could only be discussed if the UK had already agreed to take measures, such as giving EU authorities access to full real-time customs data.

“This is just a little effort the UK has to do to make sure this system works,” he said. “There are basic prerequisites [for concessions] You also have to feel that Britain is ready to meet us along the way. .. .. Being able to access the IT system and accepting the fact that minimal checks are required. “

“I think we need to close this chapter and create a new one, so I want to end this well in the EU-UK relationship,” he added.

Brussels warns that Britain’s threat to the Northern Ireland Protocol could break peace

Source link Brussels warns that Britain’s threat to the Northern Ireland Protocol could break peace

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