EU to unveil plans aimed at resolving political stand-off over Northern Ireland deal

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The European Union will today outline proposals aimed at resolving the political deadlock over a key part of the Brexit deal, including offering to significantly reduce border checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland.

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It comes after Britain’s Brexit minister Lord Frost, who in a speech on Tuesday slammed the government’s hardline rhetoric on the contentious issue, warned the bloc that it would be a “historically wrong decision” not to rewrite the deal.

But the minister was accused of escalating tensions by accusing the EU of being “disrespectful” and attempting to reverse the referendum’s outcome, as he stalled and effectively demanded the Northern Ireland Protocol, which he signed. had done.


According to Guardian, the bloc will offer that up to 50 percent of post-Brexit checks will be waived on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, with more than half on cold meat and plants.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefkovic, who is expected to face a news conference on Wednesday, has previously said the measures would be “very far-reaching” and would address issues on the movement of agri-food goods and medicines in the Irish Sea.

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An EU official also pointed out, “Brussels is going to allow more goods into Northern Ireland without checks in exchange for having more data to conduct proper market monitoring.” Wire.

“The number of checks will come down drastically. This is the best way to cut a check, short of a Swiss-style alignment agreement. “

Although the measures may reduce everyday friction between the NI and the GB, the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) remains a major point of contention after Lord Frost suggested a red line for the government to supervise the court. Is.

Under the terms of the deal signed by Boris Johnson in 2019 and subsequently welcomed by ministers, the ECJ will be the final arbiter in any future trade dispute between the two parties on the operation of the Protocol.

The UK government now wants to remove that position and replace it with an independent arbitration process, but Mr Sefkovic has insisted the EU will not move forward on the issue.

Asked whether the reported proposal would suffice, Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden said sky News: “We will wait until we get a full announcement from the EU.

“The government will engage fully, constructively with these proposals. It is important that there is a fundamental change in the Northern Ireland Protocol – let’s see what the EU brings.”

He said there were “broad questions about competence” regarding the European Court of Justice, adding: “This treaty is governed exclusively by the courts of one party.”

However, he declined to say whether changing this section of the deal would be a “deal breaker”, adding: “This is a major issue for us – I’m not going to start pre-emptively, here’s more I’m writing red lines there.”


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