icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

EU to propose removing most Northern Ireland checks in ‘very genuine effort’ to address concerns, Irish FM says

EU to propose removing most Northern Ireland checks in ‘very genuine effort’ to address concerns, Irish FM says
The European Commission proposal to alter the troublesome Northern Ireland Protocol will involve the removal of most post-Brexit checks in a “genuine” effort to resolve concerns, according to Ireland’s foreign minister.

Speaking on Wednesday, Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a package of measures to be unveiled later in the day could see a significant reduction in customs controls, citing the EU’s proposal. 

Coveney told the Irish national broadcaster, RTE, that checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods (concerning plant, animal health and food product safety) would be removed if adequate data sharing and labelling was introduced.

“This is about supermarket supply chains across all foodstuffs, which is the vast majority of checks required under the protocol and the paper will propose the removal of the vast majority of those checks,” he said.

The foreign minister also added that the EU proposals would make it “crystal clear” that medicines coming into Northern Ireland from Britain would not be blocked by Brussels; he said this required a change of EU law. 

Also on rt.com 'It takes two to fix it': UK's Frost tells EU stop generalising Britain as 'Brexit obsessed' & calls for intense N. Ireland talks

“This is a major intervention by the European Commission and a very genuine effort to try to resolve the concerns that many people in Northern Ireland have expressed,” Coveney added.

The Northern Ireland Protocol, a post-Brexit arrangement under which the region remains in the EU single market and customs checks are imposed on goods coming in from the rest of Britain, was introduced as a means of avoiding reintroducing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the neighbouring Republic of Ireland. It was signed off by the UK and the EU as part of the former’s Withdrawal Agreement. However, unionists in Northern Ireland and the government in London have demanded Brussels return to the negotiating table to work on an amended agreement.

Speaking on Tuesday, UK Brexit Minister David Frost said he thought the EU’s initial proposal would fall short of the mark and hoped for a few weeks of brief, but intense, discussions to reach a more flexible outcome.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts