EU and UK fail to find solution to Northern Ireland problem
Talks between the UK and the European Union on trade with Northern Ireland continue next week in London. According to sources around British negotiators, talks in Brussels this week have been constructive and at some points there has been a rapprochement. “But the reality is there are still big differences on key points.” England showed that a breakthrough had to come soon.
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As part of the Brexit deal, which was finalized last December, it was agreed that goods transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must meet European requirements and therefore also be inspected. In this way it is possible to avoid the hard border between the EU states of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Such harsh borders could jeopardize the hard-won peace between pro-British Protestants and pro-Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland.
The UK has called the Northern Ireland protocol unworkable for some time and has publicly threatened to cancel it unilaterally. European Commissioner Maros efčovi has offered a substantial relaxation of control over British goods, but it is not enough for Britain. They also find the fact that the European Court of Justice is the arbitrator in the dispute which is not pleasant.
It seems that the removal of that role is non-negotiable for the EU, so withdrawing the treaty appears to be the only possible move for the UK. According to sources in Brussels, the European Commission will want to retaliate strongly if the UK does so.
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