The European Union and the United Kingdom failed to find a solution to the issue of Northern Ireland


Photo: ANP

Talks between the UK and the EU on trade with Northern Ireland continue next week in London. According to sources around the British negotiators, the talks in Brussels this week were constructive and there was convergence on some points. “But the truth is, there are still big differences on the important points.” The British are indicating that a breakout should happen soon.

As part of the Brexit deal, concluded last December, it was agreed that goods transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must meet European requirements, and therefore also be screened. In this way it was possible to avoid the difficult border between the European Union country and Northern Ireland. Such a hard border could jeopardize the hard-won peace between pro-British Protestants and pro-Ireland Catholics in Northern Ireland.

The British described the Northern Ireland Protocol as impractical for some time and publicly threatened to cancel it unilaterally. European Commissioner Maros Shevovich has already offered a significant relaxation of control over British goods, but this is not enough for the British. They also find the fact that the European Court of Justice is an arbitrator in disputes unpalatable.

It does not seem likely that removing this role is negotiable by the EU, as withdrawal from the treaty appears to be the only possible move for the UK. According to sources in Brussels, the European Commission would like to respond forcefully if the British do so.

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Megan Vasquez

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