The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have reached a customs agreement who can help put an end to disputes over the controversial Brexit Protocol to North Irelanddesigned to avoid a physical border between the two Irelands, reports this Wednesday the newspaper The Times.
According to this protocol, Northern Ireland falls within the internal community and British market, so controls on trade between the United Kingdom and the EU are carried out at the Northern Irish entry points, which has caused bureaucratic problems.
That trade frontier, located in the Irish Sea, it has also created political problems among pro-British unionistsas they consider that it affects their relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom.
The aim of the protocol was to avoid a physical border between the Republic of Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland so as not to jeopardize the peace agreement, which ended sectarian conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 1998.
According to information from The Times, Brussels has accepted a proposal that would avoid the need for routine checks on products destined for the province.
In addition, the EU has for the first time conceded that the EU Court of Justice could rule on issues relating to the province only if the Northern Ireland courts refer a case, the newspaper added.
Until now, Brussels had insisted that the European Commission should be able to take cases directly to court.
This can help end the deadlock on the Northern Ireland Protocolwhich tarnished Anglo-community relations.
The framework for a deal comes after months of negotiations by British Foreign Office officials and Tim Barrow, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s national security adviser.
The article, citing British sources, adds that Brussels had made significant concessions on issues such as the jurisdiction of the European court. “This is a critical sovereignty issue and that will remain with the UK,” a government source said.
“The EU has moved a lot from its original position. This agreement will not please anyone, but the hope is that it sufficiently satisfies everyone”, another source added to the newspaper.
As for the customsthe agreement is largely based on the UK’s proposals for a green and red lane system. Goods destined for Northern Ireland would be allowed to enter without routine checks, while goods for further export to the Republic of Ireland would be cleared through customs at Northern Irish ports.
Data on vehicle movements would be shared with the EU and the UK would agree to investigate any suspicious activity, it says The Times.
Under the plan, the UK and the EU would negotiate a separate long-term agreement covering exports of meat, live animals and other products to Northern Ireland, with the UK agreeing to uphold EU veterinary standards on exported goods. to the province.
This information is published one day after the third anniversary of the official departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, after the British voted in favor of Brexit in the referendum held in June 2016.
(With information from EFE)
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