London / Brussels
To Brexit related disputes between Britain and the European Union continue and even intensify, even though it has been almost a year and a half since Britain’s secession from the EU.
Prime minister Boris Johnson the Conservative government now wants to live on the terms for Northern Ireland that Johnson’s troops themselves were negotiating.
In the EU, this is not considered good.
“If the UK takes more arbitrary decisions in the coming weeks, the EU will not hesitate to act swiftly and rigorously to ensure that the UK meets its contractual obligations,” Vice-President of the EU Commission for Brexit Maroš Šefčovič warned The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday in his writing.
In Britain, it has been interpreted that the EU is threatening a trade war. EU Commission started as early as March action against Britain for breach of contract.
I dispute at the center is again Northern Ireland, which is geographically part of the island of Ireland.
The 2019 Brexit Agreement formed the customs border for the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland. In this way, the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was kept open, which is essential for the peace of Northern Ireland.
At the same time, Northern Ireland remained, mutatis mutandis, in the EU internal market and customs union, while Britain was “liberalized” from EU regulation.
Britannian the Conservative government celebrated the creative solution as a victory. When Brexit’s transition period ended at the turn of the year, the downsides of the tuning began to be revealed.
Trade from Britain to Northern Ireland is tangled when British companies are reluctant to follow the new bureaucracy. Northern Irish have been deprived of their familiar British products and even medicines.
At the same time, political instability has worsened. The Brexit arrangements have angered British-minded unionists and loyalists in Northern Ireland in particular. In March, loyalist paramilitary organizations already withdrew their support from the peace agreement.
According to the British Government, the responsibility for remedying the situation lies with the EU.
“The EU needs a new way of working with its neighbors. Friends should look for practical solutions and not just stare at the articles, ”British Brexit Minister David Frost wrote recently in the Financial Times.
It was Frost who led the British Brexit Negotiating Group when the parties reached an agreement on an additional protocol on Northern Ireland.
Britannian and Europe’s war of words escalated this week as the six-month flexibility period promised to Britain is coming to an end at the end of June. Border controls are not working at the moment, both sides have acknowledged.
The agreement is scheduled to be rubbed on Wednesday in London, where EU Commissioner Šefčovič and Brexit Minister Frost will meet.
The European Union is now facing a big problem: how much can Britain give in to make life easier for the people of Northern Ireland?
The EU fears that if Britain is given too much flame, it will continue to milk contractual concessions. This will put the EU in an endless spiral of further Brexit negotiations.
On the other hand, the EU does not want to jeopardize the peace of Northern Ireland either. In British newspapers close to the Conservative Party, the problems in Northern Ireland are explained by the EU’s reluctance to be flexible. In this way, the EU is also to blame for possible future unrest.
European according to the union, britain has chosen the opposite path. In March, Britain announced unilaterally that it would delay the start of customs controls. The Commission responded by initiating legal proceedings.
“The EU has been patient, but patience also has its limits,” a Commission official said at the background ceremony.
According to the official, the Commission is ready to resort to sanctions if necessary. British and EU breaches of contract can be brought before the European Court of Justice and a separate dispute resolution body. The penalty for breach of contract is, for example, the imposition of customs tariffs.
The EU is annoyed, among other things, by the fact that it still does not have the previously promised access to the Northern Ireland and British customs systems.
“We do not currently have a view on what will happen to our region.”
The Commission official states that the EU is ready to be flexible. Separate proposals for solutions are already available, for example, to facilitate the export of medicines, the marking of animals, the registration of used cars and, for example, the import of guide dogs.
Northern Ireland the situation threatens to worsen in July, when the grace period for the application of the new customs regulations expires. Britain wants to postpone the deadline further until the end of the year.
If the new regulations are applied as agreed, the locals will not receive minced meat, sausages and other cuts of meat made on the British side, among other things.
The import problems of goods in Northern Ireland would be solved by about 80% if the UK and the EU could agree on conditions governing the safety of animal and plant products (the so-called SPS conditions, i.e. Sanitary and phytosanitary standards).
However, Britain does not want to comply with EU SPS conditions. The fear is that it would frustrate the Brexit promise of British independence.
Another reason is that if Britain starts to adhere to strict EU rules, it cannot agree on more lenient terms with the US and Australia, for example.
Everyone Products exported from Britain to Northern Ireland must comply with EU customs rules.
In practice, this means that goods may not move completely freely within the United Kingdom. For many people in Northern Ireland, this has been a hard piece to swallow.
Leader of the British Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster had to resign in the spring precisely because of his party’s Brexit disappointment. In the leadership of his successor, the DUP, Fosteria is even more reluctant to deal with Brexit terms. Edwin Poots.
On Tuesday, the new Prime Minister of Northern Ireland was elected DUP: n Paul Givan.
The situation in Northern Ireland is also a concern for the President of the United States Joe Biden. Biden has its roots in Ireland.
The United States has reacted negatively to the Johnson government’s wishes to renegotiate the Additional Protocol to Northern Ireland.
Biden the problems of Northern Ireland are expected to be raised with Johnson in bilateral talks when the G7 group of leading industrialized countries meet on Friday in Cornwall in the south-west of England.
July marks the beginning of a politically fiery marching season in Northern Ireland. It can further tighten the mood of the area.