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EU to unveil measures to ease British goods flow to N. Ireland By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Shipping containers can be seen at Port of Belfast in Northern Ireland on January 2, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photograph

Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS, (Reuters) – The European Commission will present to Britain on Wednesday a set of measures that would ease goods transit to Northern Ireland. However, it won’t be able to provide the London-imposed overhaul of trading regulations for the province after Brexit.

Measures taken by the EU Executive are meant to facilitate customs controls such as clearance of milk and meat products from UK, as well the flow of drugs to British provinces.

It will however not allow for the renegotiation of the protocol that governs Northern Ireland’s unique trade position. This could leave London and Brussels on a collision course.

Maros Sefcovic will be the vice-president for EU-UK relations at the European Commission. He will then present the plans to EU members and the European Parliament during a press conference that is set for 6.30 PM (1630 GMT/1230 PDT).

It will also outline plans for increased engagement with Northern Ireland’s citizens.

These proposals would allow supermarkets in Northern Ireland to stock sausages from Britain and other chilled meat products that were banned by the European Union.

Northern Ireland, while still part of the United Kingdom has been able to remain in the EU’s single European market for goods. This means that its exports to other EU countries are not subjected either tariffs, customs controls, or paperwork.

Sefcovic said that Northern Irish business can benefit from the best both of them. The end result creates a customs barrier in the Irish Sea which disrupts trade between Northern Ireland, Britain, and Northern Ireland, angering pro-British unionists.

According to the plans of the commission, British sausages would be permitted into Northern Ireland if they are only intended for Northern Irish customers.

“This is our offer. “That’s our proposal. “If this is denied, we do have a problem,” Sefcovic stated in comments last week.

David Frost, British Brexit Minister, stated in Tuesday’s speech that London is open to discussing the suggestions “whatever their words”, but also demanded an updated “forward-looking protocol”, without supervision from European courts.

EU stated that it does not see any way for a court other than its top court to rule on EU Single Market.

Sefcovic stated, as well that the European Court of Justice was not a major problem when he visited Northern Ireland last month.

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Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.