EU pauses authorized motion towards UK over Northern Eire protocol
The European Commission has suspended legal action against the UK for implementing the post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland, hoping to find solutions to outstanding issues.
Brexit Minister David Frost called for significant changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol, an element of the deal he was negotiating, stating that “we cannot go on as we are”.
He called for a “deadline”, the current grace period to be maintained and for EU legal action against the UK to be suspended while changes are negotiated.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission said Tuesday that the pause would be used to examine proposals made by the United Kingdom last week.
The spokeswoman added: “Although the EU will not renegotiate the Protocol, we stand ready to address in a spirit of good faith and cooperation any issues that arise in the practical implementation of the Protocol.
“It is important that we continue constructive discussions in the coming weeks.
Brexit Minister David Frost leaves the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Victoria Street, London
With regard to the decommissioning request, the Commission will “carefully examine the UK’s new proposals in accordance with the necessary consultation procedures both internally and with the European Parliament,” she added.
“In order to create the necessary space to reflect on these questions and find lasting solutions for the implementation of the protocol, we have decided at this point not to move on to the next stage of the infringement procedure that started in March.”
A UK government spokeswoman said she had received a constructive response from the commission to a request to close existing agreements.
“We look forward to engaging with the EU in the coming weeks to advance the proposals in our Command Paper.
“As we pointed out in the Command Paper last week, significant changes are needed to ensure that the protocol is viable for the future.”
The Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Brexit agreement agreed between Great Britain and Brussels, effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s internal market for goods.
This means controls on goods being sent from the UK to the internal market and in some cases may result in bans on certain products that do not comply with EU rules.
The protocol was put in place to ensure there was no hard border with Ireland, but instead it effectively set up a trade barrier in the Irish Sea.