Customs officers in Northern Ireland still check goods coming from other parts of the UK. That is the impression given by European Commission Vice-President Maros تečković, who is responsible for negotiations on the Brexit settlement on behalf of the European Union. Northern Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Edwin Potts on Wednesday ordered that all border controls on British goods be ended by midnight.
Potts of the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party claimed that checks generated from the Brexit agreements would be legally inadmissible. Ševovich now says the call is “very bad” amid negotiations with the UK over the dire situation in Northern Ireland.
As far as we know, officials in Northern Ireland continue to inspect the merchandise. It is vital that it remains that way. “The European Commission will monitor this closely,” the European commissioner wrote.
The situation in Northern Ireland is a recurring sore point in relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. After the British left the bloc of the country, it was agreed that goods from the European Union could continue to enter Northern Ireland unimpeded, despite the fact that it was part of the United Kingdom. Otherwise, there will be customs controls again at the border with Ireland. This would contravene the peace treaty between pro-British Protestants and pro-Irish Catholics in the 1990s.
But the British government has long complained that the agreements are not enforceable, as there are now customs controls on goods destined for Britain to Northern Ireland. That is why Brussels and London are negotiating a solution. After his talks with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Ševovich said everyone should pay close attention to the practical difficulties Northern Ireland faces due to customs controls. He said the EU had proposed “long-term solutions” to help people and businesses in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, political chaos is growing in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Prime Minister Paul Gevan, who is also from the DUP, resigned on Thursday due to his dissatisfaction with the agreements between London and Brussels. As a result, Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill was forced to resign. She is a member of Sinn Féin, which aims to join Ireland.
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