FILE PHOTO: Signs reading ‘No Irish Sea Border’ and ‘Ulster is British, no internal UK border’ are seen pasted to a lamp post in the Port of Larne, Northern Ireland, March 6, 2021. Image taken on March 6, 2021. Reuters/Clodag Kilcoyne/File photo
September 14, 2021
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is expected to outline by the end of September plans that could ease the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland in an effort to ease tensions triggered by Brexit, EU diplomats said. said.
The European Union rejected Britain’s demand to renegotiate the new trading status of the British province. But Maros Sefkovic, a deputy head of the bloc’s executive commission, last week promised “creative and concrete new solutions” under the current deal.
Under the so-called Protocol, Britain agreed to drop some EU rules in Northern Ireland and accept checks on goods arriving there from the rest of the United Kingdom, in order to preserve an open land border with Ireland, a Member states of the European Union.
But London has since said it was not working and should be replaced.
EU diplomats said the commission’s new ideas would be announced this month, including greater participation from politicians and others in Northern Ireland.
“Potential solutions will be centered around making existing checks less laborious, limiting the amount of paperwork required,” said an EU diplomat who deals with Brexit, adding the Commission would allow room for more leniency towards Britain. Legal changes may be proposed in favor of 27 countries to give. .
A second diplomat said the new package is expected to go beyond the previous commission’s proposals to include routes for guide dogs, easier tagging of livestock and easier circulation of medicines.
EU national ambassadors are due to discuss plans on Wednesday, followed by national ministers dealing with European affairs in a meeting on 21 September.
Further scrutiny and further expansion beyond the end of September on trade borders the EU deemed necessary to protect its single market of 450 million people has given some room for negotiations.
Britain’s Brexit minister David Frost said on Monday the EU needed to move forward in negotiating the protocol, warning that London could unilaterally suspend it.
The Commission, which oversees EU-UK relations on behalf of the 27 EU countries, has said it is ready to flexibly interpret the protocol but does not want to renegotiate it, the European Court of Justice said. A British call to end the inspection by
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Gabriella Baczynska; Editing by Gareth Jones)