Europe

EU comes up with new solutions for British trade to Northern Ireland

Bloc’s new package aimed at easing trade, cutting paperwork

Agnes Szucs   | 14.10.2021
EU comes up with new solutions for British trade to Northern Ireland

BRUSSELS 

The European Union proposed new solutions Wednesday in response to the difficulties people in Northern Ireland have been facing after Brexit. 

“On one hand, the flow of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be facilitated for goods that are to stay in Northern Ireland,” European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic told reporters.

“On the other, robust safeguards and monitoring mechanisms should be put in place to make sure they stay in Northern Ireland,” he added.

The package aims at easing post-Brexit tensions between the bloc and the UK and to ensure the real-life application of the Northern Ireland Protocol of the withdrawal agreement.

In the area of public, plant and animal health, the EU proposes a simplified certification system as well as a system to significantly reduce control for goods transported from other parts of Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

According to the EU’s estimations, this would lead to around 80% fewer identity and physical checks on most of the goods and 50% less red tape.

The bloc also recommended putting an end to the so-called “sausage war” by allowing UK-produced chilled meat products to be sold in Northern Ireland with a specific certificate.

Under the new rules, medicine companies will also be able to keep supplying Northern Ireland even if they are based in other parts of the UK.

The EU and UK concluded the special protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland with the aim of avoiding a hard border in respect of the Good Friday Agreement and at the same time to protect the interests of the EU market.

Northern Ireland remained a part of the EU’s customs regime, while the UK agreed to apply customs checks for goods coming from Northern Ireland.

The UK left the EU last year after 47 years of membership on Jan. 31, 2020.

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