The British government on Wednesday asked the European Union to temporarily suspend the application of post-Brexit customs provisions in North Ireland and negotiating “significant changes” to these measures, a source of great tension in that British region.
“We believe that we must quickly agree to a moratorium” on the application of the so-called “Northern Ireland protocol”, he said. David Frost, Minister in charge of European affairs, before the upper house of the British Parliament.
The UK formally left the European single market and the customs union on January 1. On December 24, both parties signed a trade agreement that includes specific customs provisions for Northern Ireland.
Designed to avoid frontera between that British region and the neighboring Republic of Ireland – a member country of the EU -, unacceptable for the Northern Irish republicans and that would threaten the fragile peace process installed in 1998, the protocol keeps the region in the European single market and the customs union.
But it imposes controls on goods from Britain to prevent unauthorized products from entering the EU through Ireland.
Unionist Northern Irish communities, attached to their membership of the British crown, denounce them as a separation from the rest of the United Kingdom.
This caused violent unrest that aroused the fear of new intercommunity clashes.
The Good Friday agreement
The 1998 Good Friday peace accord ended three decades of bloody conflict between Catholic Republicans and Protestant Unionists, which left some 3,500 dead.
London Y Brussels They recently reached an agreement that allows Britain to continue shipping chilled meat to Northern Ireland for another three months, until September 30.
But London is now calling for “significant changes” to a long and harshly negotiated protocol, which threatens to provoke the ire of Brussels.