EU Commission Vice-Chairman Maroš čefčovič has denied the allegations by the British government in the Northern Ireland dispute. London’s Foreign Minister Dominic Rabb said on Wednesday that the EU was trying to create a border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, in violation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement. That settlement ended the civil war in Northern Ireland.
In a conversation with Psuedtasche Zitung And international media responded to čefčovič that Rab’s claim “raises many question marks because it is based – diplomatically – on a complete misunderstanding of the agreement we concluded”. Ultimately, the Northern Ireland Protocol provides for these controls on delivery from the rest of the Kingdom – “and we have a joint responsibility to make this as easy as possible”.
Šefčovič is responsible for relations with Great Britain and the implementation of Brexit agreements. Slovak started Monday Breach process Against the United Kingdom for violation of the provisions of Northern Ireland Protocol Violated. It is part of the 2019 withdrawal agreement and aims to prevent customs officials from inspecting trucks between the Republic of Ireland and British Northern Ireland. Therefore, the Protocol states that Northern Ireland will continue to comply with the EU excise rules and customs rules despite Brexit. However, the logical consequence is that delivery of goods from England, Wales or Scotland to Northern Ireland must be investigated.
Great Britain wants to extend the transition period on its own
There are transition periods so that British companies can accommodate new customs formalities at Northern Ireland’s ports. But some of them expire at the end of March. Trade associations and the UK government asked for an extension. Since, in London’s opinion, čefčovič hesitated too long with this request, the government announced two weeks ago that it would arbitrarily extend the duration of the transition – a clear breach of contract from Brussels’ point of view.
Šefčovič does not rule out an extension: “We now understand that adaptation is more difficult and companies need more time,” he said. But the British government should make it clear how they want to use the extra time and complete the preparations. “What we have received from the government is absolutely inadequate. There are no clear steps, deadlines and intermediate goals,” he complained. “We want a clear plan for what will happen in the coming weeks and months and when the rules can be fully implemented.”
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