Ireland turns on stubborn EU and demands 'flexibility' in Brexit trade deal row

HomeNews

Ireland turns on stubborn EU and demands 'flexibility' in Brexit trade deal row

Foreign minister Simon Coveney insisted conceding ground to ensure the peace process is protected should not be seen as a “weakness”. Brussels and

Brexit LIVE: EU talks continue for MONTHS – Lord Frost to confront 'bumpy' trade row
Brexit POLL: Should Nicola Sturgeon be banned from flying EU flag? VOTE
Boris Johnson considers putting a ROUNDABOUT under the Isle of Man in Brexit tunnel plans


Foreign minister Simon Coveney insisted conceding ground to ensure the peace process is protected should not be seen as a “weakness”. Brussels and Britain are currently at loggerheads over the Brexit divorce deal’s Northern Ireland Protocol to prevent a hard border. No10 fears the overzealous implementation of EU red tape has caused trade frictions and potentially risks destabilising the region.

This has led to disruption on goods crossing the Irish Sea, with new checks imposed on those moving from Britain to the province.

Concerns have been raised that Northern Ireland’s place within the UK is being undermined.

Mr Coveney told the FT: “Pragmatism and flexibility within the confines of the protocol actually strengthens the protocol. It doesn’t weaken it.

“We shouldn’t see flexibility as a weakness or a concession.

“In fact, this is ensuring that we create an acceptance for and a full implementation of the protocol.”

Boris Johnson has threatened to suspend parts of the Withdrawal Agreement unless the EU agrees to relax the checks.

The Government wants an extension until 2023 of a series of “grace periods” that are in place for supermarket goods, chilled meats, parcels, medicines and pets crossing the Irish Sea.

But the EU has signalled any extensions will be much more limited.

To keep the Irish border open, the area effectively remains part of the EU’s single market and some checks are now made on some products arriving from the rest of the UK.

Brussels inflamed tensions when it announced plans to impose a hard border in order to prevent vaccines leaking into Britain via the Republic of Ireland.

The EU Commission has since reversed its decision, with its President Ursula von der Leyen claiming she “deeply regrets” the move.

Downing Street has called for an “urgent reset” because of disruptions the measures have introduced between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

MUST READ: Sturgeon’s currency plan in tatters as ‘Scotland to join euro in EU’

But he ruled out “permanent grace periods”,

Mr Coveney added: “We know that there are issues in relation to implementation that need to be resolved and we know that there are a series of asks here in terms of pragmatism and flexibility.

“We need to approach both with a view to trying to get a partnership to move this protocol forward – that can move away from the kind of polarised politics that we’ve seen over the last two weeks, particularly in Northern Ireland linked to the protocol, which very much had moved into the realm of identity politics, which is a dangerous space to move into.”



COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0