London defies EU, calls for ‘new’ Irish protocol on eve Brussels proposes changes


The British Government has demanded this Tuesday from the European Union a “new” protocol for the two Irelands to replace the one agreed less than a year ago because, it maintains, “it does not work” and was drafted “in a hurry”, in what it represents a new challenge to Brussels, which on Wednesday will present a proposal to simplify the current one in an attempt to convince London to comply with the agreement.

“What does it cost the EU to implement a new protocol? In our opinion, very little”, defended the British minister for Brexit, David Frost, in a speech delivered in Lisbon during which he announced the sending of a “new legal text” to EU partners with substantial regime changes for Ulster.

The United Kingdom refuses to comply with the safeguards provided in the Brexit agreement as it affects the control of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, despite the fact that it was a condition agreed with the EU to avoid having to reintroduce a visible border between Ireland and Northern Ireland that could damage the Good Friday Peace Accords.

The Community Executive, for its part, which initiated a disciplinary proceedings against the British Government for this breach, had announced for Wednesday a proposal with “creative and solid” solutions that would help the Northern Irish to comply with the requirements of the protocol.

The Vice-President of the Commission responsible for relations with the United Kingdom, Maros Sefcovic, made it clear in a speech last week that the EU will in no case agree to renegotiate the existing protocol, but that there is a will to find “pragmatic” solutions that unblock the situation.

Among the keys that he pointed out after visiting the region, Sefcovic said he was aware of the need to streamline procedures for trade between east and west, to simplify some phytosanitary measures and to correct the problems of supply of medicines from Great Britain to Ireland of the North, as well as issues that affect customs controls.

But London has anticipated the detailed presentation of the proposal and has warned that the protocol in its current form “does not work”, is the “main source of mistrust” between Europeans and British and therefore “must change”.

Frost, who has suggested that the EU’s insistence on not renegotiating the safeguards is to show that Brexit has been detrimental, has further stressed that Northern Ireland “is not EU territory”, but that it is the British responsibility to preserve the peace. and prosperity in the territory, “which could imply using Article 16 if necessary.”

In this way, the British Government once again threatens the 27 with making use of the article provided in the Treaty negotiated between the EU and the United Kingdom to suspend the provisions of the framework agreement of the mutual relationship.

Although the British minister has not given all the details of the document sent to Brussels, he has pointed out some elements that it contains and that for the European Union are unacceptable output, for example creating a dispute resolution mechanism that leaves out the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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