UK Unveils Plans to Revise Northern Ireland Brexit Deal
The United Kingdom will detail how it plans to review its Brexit deals with the European Union on Northern Ireland. The British and the EU have long argued over the situation in Northern Ireland, which arose after the United Kingdom departed from the EU.
The government in London wants the European Commission to thoroughly overhaul the agreements on trade and traffic in Northern Ireland, but Brussels refuses to do so. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will set out “the rationale for our approach” in a statement to MPs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said.
Johnson has long argued that the Brexit deals between the EU and the UK on Northern Ireland are untenable. The formation of a government in Northern Ireland is now also at risk of deadlock because pro-British politicians have said they do not want to supply ministers if the agreements are not adjusted.
Due to Ireland’s EU membership, goods would have to be checked by customs at the border with Northern Ireland, but this is sensitive because nobody wants such a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. That was agreed in the 1990s in a peace agreement after decades of struggle between pro-Irish Catholics and pro-British Protestants.
After Brexit, to maintain this agreement, it was decided to draw the border between the EU and the UK between Northern Ireland and the British Isles. As a result, customs now have to check goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Johnson believes that the current situation threatens peace and stability in Northern Ireland. His government has the right to act if the EU refuses to comply with its demands. “We don’t want to scrap it, but we think it can be fixed,” he said on Monday during a visit to Northern Ireland. However, European leaders have warned London that taking unilateral steps around Northern Ireland could jeopardize the entire Brexit deal and result in a trade war.