Tuesday, November 29, 2022

UK presents measure that would change Brexit rules

LONDON ( Associated Press) – The British government on Monday proposed a new bill that would unilaterally change trade rules for post-Brexit Northern Ireland, despite opposition from some British lawmakers and EU officials who said the measure would violates international law.

The bill aims to remove customs controls on some goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom, undoing parts of a trade agreement signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the European Union less than two years ago. Will do

The British government says it is acting under international law, but the European Commission has said it can take legal action against Britain.

European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefkovic said the EU’s executive branch would “consider introducing new infringement procedures to protect the EU Single Market from the risks that would pose a breach of the protocol for EU companies.” For the health and safety of EU and EU citizens.

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In Ireland, Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said the bill “marks a particularly low point in Britain’s approach to Brexit.” Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said it was “very unfortunate that a country like the UK would back down from an international treaty”.

Criticism aside, Johnson told reporters that the proposed change is “relatively easy to implement.”

“Frankly, it’s a relatively insignificant set of adjustments in the grand scheme of things,” he told LBC radio.

He argued that his government’s “past and improved legal commitment” is to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which brought peace and stability to Northern Ireland.

The arrangement for Northern Ireland – the only part of Britain to share a land border with the EU nation – has proved to be the toughest issue in Britain’s divorce from the bloc, which lasted at the end of 2020.

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At the heart of the dispute is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which seeks to maintain peace between post-Brexit Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, part of the European Union.

Britain and the European Union agreed, as part of their Brexit deal, that Ireland’s land would remain free of customs checkpoints and other controls as an open border is a key pillar of the peace process that ended decades of violence in Ireland.

Instead, to protect the EU’s single market, there is control over certain goods, such as meat and eggs, entering Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain.


Associated Press writer Samuel Petrequin in Brussels contributed to this report.

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