England will emphasize the need for "significant change" in the Northern Ireland protocol

FILE PHOTO: A 'No Hard Border' poster is seen below a road sign on the Irish side of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland near Bridgend, Ireland October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Next week, Britain will warn the European Union that a "significant change" to the Northern Ireland protocol is required to restore genuine good relations between London and Brussels.

The Protocol was part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit divorce settlement with the EU. Still, London has warned it needs to be revised less than a year after it went into effect because of the difficulties firms encounter when bringing British goods into the province.

Maros Sefcovic, the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of post-Brexit relations with the United Kingdom, said that the EU's executive would finalize measures to settle post-Brexit trading concerns in Northern Ireland by the end of the year or early 2022 next week.

However, Sefcovic stated that he would not revise the Protocol and that solutions would have to be found within the confines of a deal to keep the Northern Ireland-EU-member Ireland border open.

On Wednesday, the European Commission is set to present its proposals.

On Tuesday, British Brexit Minister David Frost will address the diplomatic community in Lisbon, Portugal's capital.

According to excerpts of his speech given by his office on Saturday, he is scheduled to warn that protracted negotiations are not an option. If answers cannot be reached quickly, London will need to use the Article 16 safeguard mechanism.

If the Protocol is perceived to impact negatively, Article 16 permits either party to take unilateral action.

"There should be no doubt in anyone's mind about the gravity of the situation... "Now is the time for the EU to demonstrate ambition and willingness to confront the fundamental issues at the heart of the Protocol head-on," according to the speech text.

"The relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union is strained, but it doesn't have to be this way. We have the opportunity to move past the difficulties of the previous year by putting the Protocol on a solid foundation."

Frost is also anticipated to express a desire to remove the Protocol from European judicial monitoring.

The transcript stated, "The role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Northern Ireland, and the UK government's subsequent inability to implement the Protocol's very sensitive arrangements in a reasonable manner, has created a deep imbalance in the way the Protocol operates."

"The Protocol will never have the support it needs to survive unless new arrangements are made in this area."

In response to the release of Frost's ECJ statement, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney claimed the British government had set a new "red line" obstacle to progress that the EU cannot cross.

"Real question: Does UKG want a mutually agreeable path forward or a further deterioration of relations?" On Twitter, Coveney stated.

Publish : 2021-10-10 11:23:00

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