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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday urged the European Union to “seriously” study his proposals to renegotiate post-Brexit provisions in Northern Ireland, which Brussels refuses as it stands.
While the European Commission has ruled out any renegotiation of the Northern Ireland protocol, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the EU on Thursday 22 July to “seriously” study his proposals to renegotiate post-Brexit.
During a phone call with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the Conservative government judged that the Northern Ireland protocol governing exchanges with the British province was “unfeasible” and “urged the “EU to seriously consider the proposals” made by his government on Wednesday, Downing Street said in a statement.
For her part, Ursula von der Leyen assured that the EU will be “creative and flexible within the framework of the protocol”. “But we will not renegotiate,” she warned on Twitter.
PM @BorisJohnson invited to present the UK Command document on the Irish/Northern Irish Protocol.
The EU will continue to be creative and flexible under the Protocol. But we will not renegotiate.
We must jointly ensure stability and predictability in Northern Ireland.
—Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) July 22, 2021
To prevent the return of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the Northern Ireland protocol, bitterly negotiated in the context of Brexit, creates a de facto customs border between the British province, which still benefits from the single market. island of Great Britain.
This disrupts supplies to the territory and sows anger in the unionist community linked to remaining in the UK.
Avoid a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland
On Wednesday, the British government called for “a significant change in protocol”. Pending a renegotiation, it asked for a moratorium that includes the extension of grace periods in force in certain controls, as well as the freezing of legal actions brought by the EU.
London asks that British goods destined for the province and not the European market can access it “almost” without customs control. He also wants his standards, and not just those of the EU, to be accepted there so that goods can move freely.
The EU has always rejected such measures as a danger to the integrity of its own market due to the lack of a physical border and control between Northern Ireland and Ireland to the south.
The purpose of the protocol is precisely to avoid such a border, which could jeopardize the peace obtained in 1998 after three decades of unrest between unionists, especially Protestants, and republicans, mostly Catholics (3,500 dead).
In force since 1 January, it therefore maintains the British province in the single European market and customs union for goods, providing for customs controls on goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain, separated by sea.