EU Brexit peace offer includes 50% removal of customs controls on UK goods
European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic is expected to present a number of proposals later today to resolve the political stalemate between the UK and the EU over the movement of goods across the sea. ‘Ireland.
He promised the measures would be “very far-reaching”.
The telegraph reports that the EU will propose to remove up to 50 percent of customs controls on British goods entering Northern Ireland and that more than half of controls on meat and plants entering Northern Ireland would be dropped.
An EU official told the Telegraph: “Brussels will allow more goods to pass through Northern Ireland unchecked in exchange for having more data to carry out proper market surveillance.
“The number of checks will drop drastically. This is the best way to reduce controls, unless there is a Swiss-style alignment agreement. “
Mr Sefcovic also pledged to provide more voice to politicians and civil society in Northern Ireland on how the contentious trade deals work.
While the measures have the potential to help reduce daily frictions on trade between Britain and Northern Ireland, they are unlikely to meet a UK government demand for the role of the European Court of Justice ( CEJ).
On Tuesday, UK Brexit negotiator Lord Frost made it clear that removing the ECJ’s oversight function over the protocol was a red line for the government.
Under the terms of the agreement reached by the UK and the EU in 2019, the CJEU would be the final arbiter of any future trade dispute between the two parties over the operation of the protocol.
The UK now wants to remove this provision and replace it with an independent arbitration process.
Sefcovic insisted that the EU will not budge on the ECJ issue.
He stressed that Northern Ireland would not be able to retain access to the single market – a key provision of the protocol – if the agreement was not subject to scrutiny by European judges.
It is expected that the EU’s proposals, along with a wishlist for reforms presented by the government in July, will form the basis for a new round of negotiations between Brussels and London in the coming weeks.
The protocol was agreed by the UK and the EU as a way around the major obstacle in the Brexit divorce talks – the Irish land border.
It achieved this by moving regulatory and customs controls and processes to the Irish Sea.
The agreements created new economic barriers on goods transferred from Britain to Northern Ireland.
This has caused disruption in many businesses in Northern Ireland and has also created a major political headache for the government as trade unionists are furious at what they perceive to be a weakening of the Union.
However, other businesses have benefited from the terms of the protocol, which gives traders in Northern Ireland unique and unhindered access to sell in the UK domestic market and the EU single market.
One of the ways the EU could potentially reduce bureaucracy on the movement of agri-food products between Britain and the NI would be to sanction a system that would only apply controls to shipments at risk of being transferred to the United Kingdom. Republic of Ireland.
In such a system, a trusted trading system could allow retailers to declare that the final destination of goods shipped from Britain was Northern Ireland.
Sefcovic has previously signaled that the EU is ready to change legislation to ensure no disruption to medical supplies in Northern Ireland.
Under the original terms of the protocol, the region was to fall into the EU’s drug regulatory area from 2022 – a move that would have restricted the ability to import products from Britain.
But Sefcovic said he shouldn’t expect any movement on ECJ oversight of the protocol when he presents the proposals later Wednesday.
Addressing a virtual event in Dublin last week, he said: “If we are talking about constructive solutions to practical problems, I think the abolition of the European Court of Justice is not one of them.