UK to warn EU it could override key Northern Ireland Brexit deal – .

UK to warn EU it could override key Northern Ireland Brexit deal – .

A truck passes security at the Port of Larne in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, December 6, 2020.
PAUL FOI | AFP | Getty Images
The UK should warn the EU that it is ready to unilaterally override the Northern Ireland Protocol, a key principle of the Brexit deal, according to UK media.
UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost is expected to tell parliament on Wednesday that the deal needs to be drastically changed in order to remove most controls on goods traveling between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, will explain the government’s proposals to Members of the House of Commons. The BBC reported that the government would warn the EU that it would disregard the protocol if the two sides did not renegotiate its implementation.

In a phone call with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin on Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the way the protocol currently works in practice is causing “significant disruption” for the people of Northern Ireland.

A 10 Downing Street reading said Johnson stressed that the EU “must be pragmatic and solutions must be found to address the serious challenges that have arisen with the protocol”.
The protocol was approved in October 2019 as an accompaniment to the Brexit withdrawal agreement and was the subject of new negotiations in 2020. It avoids customs controls and an efficient land border between Ireland of the North, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which remains in the EU.

Preserving frictionless trade between the two islands is at the heart of the Good Friday deal, a historic truce that ended three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland between Irish separatists and British loyalists.

However, this led to port inspections on cargo traveling between Britain and Northern Ireland, a development which angered businesses and drew criticism for effectively creating a border in the Irish Sea. Before winning the UK election in 2019, Johnson promised there would be unhindered trade access between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK

The Financial Times reported that Frost’s proposals will seek to eliminate most of these controls in order to make the protocol work in practice.

Paul Donovan, chief global economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, said Wednesday’s proposals would be just the latest in a “boring and endless” exchange of views between the UK and the EU.

“Both sides will be very dramatic. As the drama is more a signal of the poor state of UK-EU relations than a catalyst for immediate disruption, markets are unlikely to react, ”he said.


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