This provides for Northern Ireland to remain in the European common market and customs union and therefore that it continues to be part of the European commercial area. The reason? Avoid border issues with Ireland, like those that occurred after World War II and then resolved with the Good Friday peace agreements. So why is the UK taking this risk?
According to Foreign Minister Liz Truss, the Protocol has caused problems that were not foreseen at the time of the agreement and that need to be amended to free UK-made products from “unnecessary bureaucracy” and regulatory barriers. The main objective is to have the power to decide on fiscal and spending policies across the UK and therefore propose “green” and “red” lanes for goods traveling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The problem is that the creation of such “green” lanes would not only violate the 2016 agreements – allowing the entry into the common European market of goods that do not meet the European Union standards from a qualitative and health point of view – but would compete unfairly with the countries of the Union as certain products would be sold at bargain prices. The British government has, in fact, clearly admitted its willingness to lower the standards on its labor laws, with the consequence of bringing subsidized goods to Ireland at derisory prices.
And the European Union? How did he react? Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission and chief Brexit negotiator for the Union, he explicitly said that the proposed law damages the trust needed for cooperation between the UK and the European Union. Reaching the lowest point of one’s relationship in this period of serious international crisis could open even darker scenarios in Europe.
In the meantime – and waiting to see if the law has the numbers to be approved in Parliament – discontent and discomfort spread to people living in Northern Ireland. Despite the promises of the British government, it appears that there are numerous food supply problems due to delays in logistics systems. An atmosphere that certainly does not help to find a solution with calm and serenity.
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