The British are “encouraged” by the EU’s settlement proposal on the Northern Ireland Protocol – EURACTIV.de

The British government is “encouraged” by EU concessions in dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol. The European Union Commission proposed a freight control exemption between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

British Brexit Minister David Frost said on Friday (15 October) ahead of a meeting with EU Commission Vice-President Maros Sefkovic: “The EU has certainly tried to go beyond the usual in these areas, and we are very much concerned about it.” are encouraged”. But there is “clearly still a big gap” between the views of London and Brussels.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is one of the most contentious issues in the post-Brexit relationship between Brussels and London. The rules stipulate that no customs control is exercised between the British province and EU member Ireland. Instead, control should be between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Customs controls on the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were widely believed to jeopardize the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which ended the decades-long Northern Ireland conflict.

However, critics of the Northern Ireland Protocol believe that the rules create a de facto border within the UK and that supplies to Northern Ireland are affected.

To allay such fears, the European Union Commission on Wednesday (October 13) proposed a relaxation of goods controls. Commission vice-chairman Maros Sefkovic said the measure would apply to most goods destined for Northern Ireland.

According to Safekovic, controls will be reduced by 80% and customs formalities by 50%. It aims to create a kind of “fast track” for certain products, including many retail products.

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On the other hand, the suggestion for a “revision” of the protocol, which Frost presented on Tuesday, equates to the widespread abolition of previous rules.

Deputy government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said in Berlin on Friday that the German government supports the EU Commission’s proposals. However, Berlin refused to “renegotiate” the protocol.

London had repeatedly threatened that the application of the Protocol would be suspended in early November if Brussels did not respond to British demands by then. This could lead to a spiral of economic penalties.

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