The EU has gone to the limit of what it can do to solve post-Brexit trade problems Northern Ireland The Bloc’s ambassador to Britain has said.
The European Commission has put in place 80% regulatory checks on the movement of goods, especially food and agricultural products, between the UK and the island of Ireland and measures to dramatically cut customs procedures.
NS Government Welcoming the announcement on Wednesday night, indicating that it wants “in-depth talks” to follow up on EU resolutions.
At the same time, however, a government spokesman said that if there is to be a “durable agreement”, there must be “significant changes” to the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
But speaking on BBC2’s Newsnight, Ambassador Joo Valle de Almeida said Brussels Has gone the “extra mile” and can’t go any further.
“Today we have gone to the limit of what we can do to address the problems of Northern Ireland because we care about Northern Ireland. These problems were caused by Brexit,” he said.
He stressed that the EU could not accede to a major British demand to remove the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing the Protocol.
“There is no single market without the European Court of Justice. It is the referee of the single market,” he said.
In a statement, a government spokesman said of the EU proposals: “We are studying the proposals in detail and will certainly look at them seriously and constructively.
“The next step should be an in-depth conversation on both sets of our proposals, conducted rapidly, to determine whether there is common ground to find a solution.
“Significant changes that deal with fundamental issues at the heart of the Protocol, including governance, if we are to agree a sustainable agreement that mandates support in Northern Ireland.”
The scaled-back checking regime proposed by the EU would also remove the possibility of some British products, including Cumberland sausages, banned from export to the region.
The EU plan also includes a 50% reduction in customs paperwork required to move products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
In return, the trading bloc has called for security measures to be implemented to provide additional assurance that a product said to be for Northern Ireland will not cross the Irish border.
These include the labeling of certain products, making it clear that they are for sale only in the UK, and enhanced monitoring of supply chain movements and access to real-time trade flow information.
Vice President of the European Union Commission maros sefkovic Said Block has worked hard to come up with an “alternative model” for implementing the protocol.
“We have explored every possible angle of the protocol and, at times, have gone beyond current EU law,” he told a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
He added: “With this robust package of practical, imaginative solutions we can continue to implement the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland for the benefit of all communities on the ground.
“This not only reinforces sustainability and predictability, an essential component for the local economy to thrive, but also paves the way for increased opportunities.”
While the range of measures will go some way to reducing the everyday friction on trade caused by the protocol, they do not address the UK’s demand on the role of the ECJ.
Britain’s Brexit minister Lord Frost has made it clear that removing the court’s oversight function in police to police protocol is a red line for the government if a settlement is to be reached.
Under the terms of the Protocol, which were agreed upon by the UK and the EU as part of the 2020 Withdrawal Agreement, the ECJ will be the final arbiter in any future trade dispute between the two parties over the operation of the Protocol.
The UK now wants to remove that provision and replace it with an independent arbitration process.
The European Commission has insisted it will not proceed on the ECJ issue.
Lord Frost has warned that if an acceptable agreement cannot be reached, the UK could move to suspend parts of the protocol by triggering an Article 16 mechanism.
He stressed that the accessibility of the ECJ is a major issue, telling broadcasters: “The problem with the protocol at the moment is that EU law, with the ECJ as the enforcer, is not in any way in Northern Ireland.” implemented without a democratic process.
“So, I think, if we have to find governance, we have to be with the people.”
The protocol is equivalent to a set of counterproposals in response to a wish list of reforms outlined by the EU plan. UK government In July.
The proposals from both sides are now set to form the basis of a new round of talks between Brussels and London in the coming weeks.
The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed upon by Britain and the European Union as a way to remove the major obstacle in Brexit divorce negotiations – the Irish land border.
This was achieved by transferring regulatory and customs checks and procedures to the Irish Sea.
The arrangements have created new economic constraints on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
This has caused disruption to many businesses in Northern Ireland and a major political headache for the government, as unionists and loyalists are outraged by what they see as weakening the union.
On Wednesday evening, the EU proposals were welcomed by Irish political leaders, with Taoiseach Michael Martin describing them as a “clear way forward and a clear way out of the issues”.