Brexit: Expert discusses shortage of haulage drivers
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Britain is locked in talks with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol, as the two sides seek to simplify the operation of the protocol. So far the negotiations have made little progress, with the UK minister for EU relations David Frost branding the current arrangements as “unsustainable”. But the bloc appears to have issued a warning to the UK, by threatening legal action if Boris Johnson makes decisions on the issue without prior EU approval.
Ireland Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the EU would be forced to take legal action if the UK failed to work in partnership with the bloc.
He told RTE News: “We’ve got to find ways in which we can reduce the impact of the protocol together.
“That means working out compromise positions within the parameters of the protocol to make it less impactful in terms of trade between GB and Northern Ireland – and there are ways to do that.
“But the danger is that if either side acts unilaterally.
“The British government has already acted unilaterally on a number of issues to essentially set aside elements of the protocol, because they don’t like how they’re being required to implement them.
“If that continues, then the protocol is going to become a more contentious issue, not a less contentious issue, because the EU will be forced into legal action and responding to a party and a partner that is no longer committed to what it signed up to.”
But he said Ireland was opposed to a legal standoff as it wants to find a viable solution agreeable by both sides.
It comes after the EU launched legal actions against the UK earlier this year, over its alleged breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The bloc was responding to the Government’s decision to delay the introduction of new sea border checks on food, parcels and pets.
It also moved unilaterally to ease the trade in horticultural products across from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
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