Brexit: European Commission proposes in London to lighten controls in Northern Ireland

Brussels wants to facilitate the application of the North Irish protocol, but refuses to renegotiate, including the presence of European justice in the province, whose authority is criticized by the Government of Boris Johnson.

Le Monde

The European Commission proposed, Wednesday, October 13, to remove the majority of the controls imposed on British food products arriving in Northern Ireland and lightening customs formalities, to try to soothe tensions with London on This Capital Component of the Post-Brexit Agreement.

This measure would concern “a wide range of merchandise from Great Britain and” consumed in Northern Ireland “. It would have the effect of reducing the controls of about 80% and the customs formalities of 50%, creating a kind of “fast track” for these products, according to a statement of the European Commission.

These proposals “Check all boxes” to solve the problems raised in recent months without recreating a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the European Union (EU), “said ‘Reuters agency Vice President of the Commission, Maros Sefcovic.

No renegotiation of the North Irish protocol

In exchange, to protect the integrity of the European internal market and ensure that these products do not penetrate, London should give guarantees, such as a label that they are intended for sale “only”. United Kingdom and a mechanism for “rapid reaction” to identify and solve problems, under penalty of unilateral measures by Brussels.

“I think what it is very important to say is that there will be no other package like this one,” said Sefcovic by presenting the measures. The Community executive thus closes the door to a renegotiation of the North Irish protocol, the part of the Treaty which develops the status of the province – it remains in the United Kingdom but also in the European internal market.

Tuesday, the Minister of European Affairs of the Government of Boris Johnson, David Frost, had declared himself ready to discuss these proposals “whatever their content”, but he again claimed a protocol by requiring that the ‘authority of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) does not exercise. Brussels has, however, repeatedly repeatedly that an other than European jurisdiction can legislate about the single European market.

Customs formalities softened

The solutions proposed by Brussels include the reduction of about 80% of the required sanitary and phytosanitary controls for the instance for food, plant and British animals for Northern Ireland. The customs formalities would also be relaxed for all the goods, which would result in a half reduction in the documents to be provided.

The implementation of these measures, however, implies that Britain will hold its commitments on checks, packaging and labeling and “strengthens the surveillance of supply chains”, specifies the Commission. The latter also proposes to modify the rules specific to the pharmaceutical companies located on the British soil to “ensure the long-term security of supply of drugs of Northern Ireland by Great Britain”.

Integral part of the United Kingdom, the province of Northern Ireland, border of the Republic of Ireland, Member of the EU, remained in the European market for the exchange of goods, which means that its exports to the rest of the EU are not subject to customs controls or tariffs and are not subject to special formalities.

For Brussels, this arrangement, which creates a customs border of fact between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Ireland Sea, preserves the single European market while allowing North Irish trade to benefit from the benefits of both worlds. But for London, the goods on goods transiting by the sea to supply Northern Ireland materialize its separation from other British provinces and attack tensions among unionists – supporters of the province’s maintenance in the United Kingdom.

/Media reports.