Brexit: EU to lower Northern Ireland border checks on British goods

The European Union (EU) has reportedly revealed plans for setting out proposals in response to the trade row in Northern Ireland. The ‘far-reaching’ proposals are expected to decrease the checks on medicines and goods.

For the unversed, the UK government is seeking to alter the deal that was struck in the Brexit process, which allows freer movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The government believes that the existing rules impose too many restrictions on the sale of chilled meats as well as other commodities.

Evidently, due to Northern Ireland being in the single market for goods under the EU, a hard border on the island of Ireland is not covered under the current arrangement. However, it creates a new trade border with Great Britain, which the unionists think undermines their position in the UK, according to reports.

The proposals would supposedly include a unique deal involving agri-food, which comprises horticulture, agriculture, and food and drink processing. As per credible sources, this deal is intended to reduce checks on products transported to Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

Reportedly, there would also be an arrangement to green light the continued sale of chilled meats that are sourced from Great Britain in Northern Ireland as these products were on the verge of getting banned.

The EU reportedly said that it was going to change its laws, aiming to solve the regulatory issues that are threatening the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

While the EU has offered certain tweaks to the current protocol and a relaxation on its application, Lord Frost, the UK's Brexit minister, has proposed plans for a completely new protocol in place of the existing one, claim reports.

Frost’s version could apparently eliminate references to the continued implementation of EU law in Northern Ireland and strip off the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) role.

Notably, the EU has repeatedly confirmed that the ECJ has the final say on any issues pertaining to EU law in the protocol. Nonetheless, if the negotiations go poorly, the UK could end up triggering a clause that allows both parties to unilaterally suspend portions of the protocol in an emergency, claim reports.

Source credit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-58871221