Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, will meet Rishi Sunak for a discussion about Northern Ireland’s trade regime
As the two sides try to resolve a bitter dispute that has dominated post-Brexit relations, the European Commission president will be traveling to the UK Monday to seek a deal to overhaul Northern Ireland’s trade arrangements.
Ursula von der Leyen meets UK prime minister Rishi Sonak in order to find “shared, practical solutions to the range of complex problems” surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol, according to Brussels and Downing Street.
This meeting shows that the UK and EU are now ready to resolve their differences over the standoff that has lasted since the UK left the EU single market and customs Union in 2021.
The withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU was concluded in 2019 when Boris Johnson was Britain’s prime minister.
One EU diplomat said on Sunday that “This is the closest thing we’ve come to putting the problems with the protocol to rest, which would allow for us to move our relationship with the UK into an even more constructive framework.” “It seems that the elements of this deal are quite clear.”
The proposed Brexit deal will not only restore the devolved government of Northern Ireland but also improve relations between the UK and the EU and the USA, about which Joe Biden has expressed concern.
Pro-British parties in Northern Ireland protested against how the protocol treats this region differently from the rest of the UK. Businesses complained about excessive bureaucracy.
Sky News’ Dominic Raab, Britain’s deputy prime Minister, said Sunday that negotiators are “in a situation where we are close, on the cusp, of, a deal”.
Sunak may have to face off with some Eurosceptic Conservative MPs as well as the Democratic Unionist Party, Northern Ireland’s largest unionist party.
Last year, the DUP forced Stormont’s power-sharing government to collapse. This was in protest at the protocol which creates a border in the Irish Sea. Goods being shipped from Great Britain must be checked. This is a sign that Northern Ireland continues to be part of the EU single marketplace for goods under Johnson’s Brexit agreement.
Sunak stated that he was willing to do everything to reach a deal with EU regarding the Northern Ireland protocol. Sunak stated that he didn’t believe the deal would place Northern Ireland in the “orbit” of Brussels.
Prime Minister added that he would work with the DUP to address concerns about the European Court of Justice’s role in the supervision of implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, has demanded changes to the legally binding UK withdrawal deal with the EU. He has also urged Sunak for the right deal even if it takes longer.
Raab confirmed that the Brexit deal was intended to reduce checks on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and to limit the power of the European Court of Justice.
For goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, a “green lane” would be established at Irish Sea ports. For goods headed for the Irish Republic, a “red lane” would apply with substantive checks.
This deal will likely reduce the influence of European Court of Justice Northern Ireland, but it will still be the final arbiter of all disputes regarding EU law.
Raab stated that if we could reduce some of these regulatory checks and some of that paperwork, it would be a significant, substantial reduction in the role of European Court of Justice.
Mark Francois, leader and co-founder of the European Research Group, pro-Brexit Tory MPs said that reducing the influence of Europe’s court was not enough.
Sky News was informed by him that the DUP would not accept a Brexit deal in which EU law prevailed over UK law in Northern Ireland.
“Unless the legal text is exempted from EU law from Northern Ireland, it’s unlikely that it will be supported by the DUP.” . . Francois said that less is not enough. “We must get rid of EU law here in Northern Ireland.”