BRUSSELS.- The European Comission (CE) warned this Wednesday to UK that it will not renegotiate the protocol included in the agreement on the British withdrawal from the European Union (EU) to avoid a physical border in Ireland behind the Brexi.
Brussels spoke in this regard after the UK’s head of government negotiator for Brexit issues, David Frost (image), asked to introduce significant changes in the implementation of the Northern Irish protocol.
“We take note of the statement made today by Mr. Frost. We will continue to engage with the UK, also on today’s suggestions. We are prepared to continue to seek creative solutions, within the framework of the protocol, in the interest of all communities in Northern Ireland. However, we will not agree to renegotiate the protocol ”, said EC Vice President Maros Sefcovic in a statement.
He stressed that the “joint” actions in the joint bodies established in the withdrawal agreement will be “of the utmost importance” in the coming months.
“We must prioritize stability and predictability in Northern Ireland,” said the Slovak politician, who said he wanted to speak “soon” with Frost.
He stressed that the EU has sought “flexible and practical solutions to overcome the difficulties” experienced by the citizens of Northern Ireland with the implementation of the protocol and, in that sense, recalled the measures announced in June, which included changes in community legislation to guarantee the supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
In any case, he underlined that the protocol is a solution that was agreed upon by both the 27 and the current UK government.
He explained that the objectives of this remedy are to protect the Good Friday peace accords, maintain peace and stability in Northern Ireland, avoid a physical border on the island of Ireland and preserve the integrity of the single community market.
“To achieve those goals, the protocol must be implemented. Respecting international legal obligations is of the utmost importance ”, he stated.
The UK government wants “significant changes” to be made in the implementation of the Northern Irish protocol and wants to address “urgently” its plans with the European Union.
In a statement to the Lords, Frost noted that for the time being both parties should agree to a “stop” to negotiate how to resolve the issues raised by this mechanism, during which the “grace period” for the start of controls would continue to apply. customs duties on goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“We have concluded that now is not the right time to activate article 16” of the protocol, which allows its application to be suspended unilaterally, according to Frost, who added, however, that the current circumstances “would justify” the activation of this article by from this country.
The politician pointed out that the situation “cannot continue like this.”
For this reason, he stated that both parties now need to find “a new balance” that seeks to allow products that adhere to both the UK and EU bloc standards to circulate in Northern Ireland.
The controversial mechanism keeps the British province in the European single market for goods in order to avoid a physical border with the neighboring Republic of Ireland – a member of the EU – but imposes border controls between Northern Ireland and the rest of the Kingdom in return. Kingdom, which have generated economic friction and political tensions in the area. EFE