British Foreign Minister Liz Truss has threatened to introduce legislation “in the coming weeks” to make changes to Northern Ireland protocol. This protocol “is an international agreement signed by the EU and the United Kingdom. Unilateral actions contradicting an international agreement are not acceptable”, affirmed Mr. Sefcovic, in a press release.
“If the UK decides to go ahead with a bill removing constituent parts of the protocol, as announced today by the UK government, the EU will have to react with all the means at its disposal. “, he warned. The British government’s announcement “raises significant concerns”, he said.
London wants to renegotiate in depth the Northern Irish protocol, concluded within the framework of the Brexit treaty, but the EU says it is only ready for adjustments.
This text creates a de facto customs border in the Irish Sea with controls that disrupt trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom and have plunged the province into a political crisis.
“The European Commission has offered bespoke arrangements, of considerable scope and impact, to facilitate the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland,” Maros Sefcovic said in the statement.
“These proposals – which stem from our extensive engagement with stakeholders in Northern Ireland – include, among other things, an express lane with drastically reduced and simplified customs procedures and on an unprecedented scale. They can make a real difference on the ground,” he said.
The European Commission says it is “ready to continue discussions with the British government in order to identify common solutions within the framework of the protocol”.