The Northern Ireland Protocol remains a major bone of contention in the Brexit process. Is there still a chance to compromise? European Union politician Manfred Weber is now pushing.
Brussels (dpa) – CSU European politician Manfred Weber added ratification of a trade deal with Great Britain to settle a dispute over Brexit special rules for Northern Ireland.
If a solution is not found by Easter, he does not see how the EU parliament can ratify the Brexit trade deal in the meantime, after a report in “Speagle” on Friday, the leader of the group of the European People’s Party he said. “We are not going to show Boris Johnson.”
The British government had announced that it would unilaterally suspend import controls in Northern Ireland which were agreed to in the EU withdrawal treaty for six months. The unauthorized deviation from the legitimate agreement angered the European Union. Hence it has initiated infringement proceedings.
Maros Sefcovic, the vice-chairman of the responsible European Union Commission, was open to a compromise. “Now we understand that adjustment is more difficult and companies need more time,” said Sefkovic of “Sdddeutsche Zeitung” (Friday). The prerequisite for the extension of the grace period, however, is how the British government dictates how they intend to use the extra time. The previous statements are “absolutely not enough”.
It is about the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, which is believed to evade control between British Northern Ireland and the European Union state of Ireland. There are now customs formalities in Northern Ireland for deliveries from England, Scotland and Wales.
The EU exit treaty with the protocol was agreed in 2019. The European Union Trade Agreement with Great Britain was reached in late December 2020. It is already being provisionally implemented. Ratification by the European Parliament is still pending. The deadline for this is 30 April.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210319-99-890685 / 2
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