Questions about the border between EU member Ireland and British Northern Ireland in particular had taxed the Brexit talks to the end. Belfast now has doubts about the implementation of the regulation.
London / Belfast (dpa) – Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister Arlene Foster sees the rules in the Brexit deal with Northern Ireland as “unworkable”. The politician of the Protestant party DUP told British radio station BBC 4 on Saturday.
She now wants to work with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Irish government in Dublin to abolish the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol. It is creating significant tensions in the British part of the country, Foster said.
The regulation, according to which British Northern Ireland will remain part of the European internal market despite Brexit, had recently led to trade problems and partially empty supermarket shelves in the province. However, the background to the current requirements is the activation of an emergency mechanism in the Northern Ireland Protocol, which the EU is in any case considering. The move sparked outrage in all political camps in Britain and both parts of Ireland on Friday.
Brussels had announced that it would submit vaccine exports to approval in the future. According to the announcement, border controls between the EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland also seemed possible. To avoid exactly this, Brexit negotiators had fought for an agreement for years. Checks at the inner Irish border are considered poison to the fragile peace process in Northern Ireland’s former civil war province.
Although the European Commission made it clear that evening that it did not want to activate the emergency mechanism, the political damage is extensive. Prime Minister Johnson was “deeply concerned”. The Dublin government, apparently not involved in the decision, was exasperated.
Irish Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney warned that lessons should be learned from the incident. “The (Northern Ireland) protocol is not something to be taken lightly. It is an essential and hard-won compromise to protect peace and trade for many, ”said Coveney.
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