Brexit: EU warns no renegotiation possible as UK delays Northern Ireland border controls again


Britain said on Monday it was again delaying the implementation of border controls on goods traveling to Northern Ireland.

Brexit Minister David Frost said the government would continue to trade “on the current basis”, maintaining the grace periods the UK granted itself after breaking away from the economic embrace of the ‘EU at the end of 2020. He has not set a new end date for the pardon. periods.

Frost said the status quo “will provide space for possible further discussions” with the EU over the two sides’ deep differences over the Brexit divorce deal.

London and Brussels have been at odds over the Northern Ireland protocol since the UK’s divorce from the bloc came into effect on January 1, 2021. The UK province remains within the EU’s customs unions, which means that checks must be carried out on certain goods traveling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

British authorities – including Prime Minister Boris, who renegotiated the Withdrawal Agreement after taking over from Theresa May at Downing Street – are now lambasting the arrangement as absurd as it effectively creates a border in the Irish Sea. They called for a “total overhaul” of the agreement.

“We will not accept a renegotiation”

The EU, which applies zero tariffs between Member States, says controls are necessary to safeguard its single market, remains firmly convinced that no physical border will be erected between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, fearing that this could lead to an outbreak of sectarian violence.

But he granted a “grace period” for the implementation of the protocol and agreed to extensions. A grace period on exports of chilled meats between Britain and Northern Ireland expires on September 30.

London has in the past said it wants the current arrangements to last until 2023, which Brussels has refused, even taking legal action against the UK over the protocol before suspending them in July in order to “find lasting solutions “.

The European Commission said Monday evening that it “takes note” of the latest British statement, signaling that “we will not agree to a renegotiation of the protocol”.

“We continue to stress that the Withdrawal Agreement is an international agreement. The Protocol is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement and the solution agreed between the UK and the EU to the problems caused by Brexit for the Island of Ireland Both parties are legally bound to fulfill their obligations under the agreement, “the Commission statement added.

Brussels also said it “reserved its rights in infringement proceedings” but was not moving forward “for the moment” with the next stage of the procedure which it had interrupted in July or opened new ones. offenses.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said he expects the EU to agree to an extension of the grace periods in order to allow “deep and meaningful” talks with Britain.

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