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Warning to Britain: ‘Do not touch Northern Ireland protocol’

Status: 05/10/2022 7:30 pm

In Brexit, it was agreed that special customs rules would apply to Northern Ireland. President Scholes and Belgian Prime Minister de Groo are now urgently warning Great Britain against canceling the deal. The EU is also clear.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholes and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Crowe have warned the British government against suspending tariffs on Northern Ireland agreed in Brexit, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol. After a conversation with de Crowe in Berlin, Scholes said the protocol was a “good regulation.”

No one should violate or violate the rules we have agreed upon together.

The EU Commission is prepared with the utmost pragmatism to resolve the issues involved in the implementation of the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol. “But that should be the path we continue to take,” Scholes said. De Crowe warned London against unilateral action: “Our message is very clear: do not touch it. It is something we have agreed to.” De Crowe explained in a meeting with Scholes that stopping the protocol would expire all Brexit rules.

Cefkovic: Negotiations are not an option

The protocol aims to bypass border controls between the EU Member Republic and the Northern Ireland of Great Britain. However, in accordance with EU standards, goods must be checked when being brought from the UK to Northern Ireland. In fact, a customs border passes through the United Kingdom.

The EU Commission has rejected calls for renegotiation if the agreement is breached. EU Vice President Maros Sefkovic said the protocol was an integral part of the “positive and stable relationship” between the EU and the United Kingdom. Brussels is open to further negotiations on the implementation of the agreement. A basic negotiation is “not an option” and the EU agrees, according to Chefkovic. He warned London against taking unilateral action.

The Irish government in Dublin also issued a warning to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that this was an international agreement. London must fulfill its obligations.

Establishing a difficult government

The ethical controversy has also hampered the formation of a government in Northern Ireland. In the parliamentary election The Catholic Party of Sinn Fin became a strong force for the first time. It aims to unite Northern Ireland and Ireland. However, the 1998 peace agreement stipulates that the regional government must be led jointly by Catholic nationalists and Protestant trade unionists.

In practice, the pro-British DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) must now agree to form a government. However, the DUP stands against the special status of Northern Ireland in the Brexit agreement and has so far blocked the formation of a new regional government.

Johnson sees the protocol as ‘possible’

In the aftermath of the election, Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin had already warned British Prime Minister Johnson that he wanted to unilaterally violate the terms agreed with the EU to trade in British-led Northern Ireland after Brexit.

A spokesman for Johnson said Tuesday that no decision had been made yet. However, in a telephone conversation with Martin, Johnson stressed that the regional elections in Northern Ireland “again showed that the protocol in its current form is not consistent”.

Reports of dismissal

According to a newspaper report, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss wants to Eliminate large parts of the Northern Ireland protocol. The ministry is said to have enacted legislation to unilaterally remove all restrictions on goods from Great Britain. The announcement will be made next week, the newspaper reported.