The EU has actually accused the UK government of “imperfections” over carrying out Northern Ireland protocol, ahead of a conference between the federal government and the bloc in London.
The procedure was the way in which a “hard border” was avoided on the island of Ireland following the agreement of a Brexit handle December – however has led to some additional look for items travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
In a letter to Michael Gove, the vice president of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, states while he recognises the development being made on implementing the protocol, there are a “number of present imperfections avoiding the procedure and our practical plans from providing on the ground”.
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Among the “teething issues”, Mr Sefcovic says border entry posts are not yet functional, which he includes means that very few checks are being made on animals and plants at the border.
Mr Sefcovic includes that the UK has not yet offered border authorities access to the relevant IT systems as concurred, and says the federal government has actually released assistance that hauliers moving products in between Northern Ireland and Great Britain do not have to send “equivalent details” to authorities – in spite of arrangements on the contrary.
He says he wants the UK and the EU to work together in order to make the procedure work.
The letter comes ahead of a meeting on Friday between Mr Gove and Mr Sefcovic in London amid the tensions around the triggering of Article 16 by the EU over vaccine circulation.
Post 16 bypasses part of the Northern Ireland protocol that prevents a tough border in between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and was intended as an emergency step.
Last month the EU entered into a row with vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca over modifications to the amount of jabs it would deliver to the bloc – triggering the union to implement Short article 16 to prevent shipments of vaccines from EU nations to the UK through Northern Ireland “through the back door”.
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The bloc subsequently reversed the relocation following condemnation from London, Dublin and Belfast.
A UK federal government spokesperson stated it was “disappointing that the Commission has failed to acknowledge the shock and anger felt best throughout the neighborhood in Northern Ireland from its decision to trigger Article 16, and the requirement to take urgent steps to bring back confidence as an outcome”.
They added: “The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will highlight the need for such action and political leadership in this regard when meeting Vice-President Sefcovic in London.”
The first minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, has asked Mr Gove and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “act on” their unionist beliefs, and has actually implicated the EU of not respecting the sovereignty of the UK.
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She said: “It is up to our federal government to challenge them on that and the reality that they are separating out Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom,” she stated.
The DUP leader stated the issues with the procedure are “fundamental”, including: “You can’t even get a pot plant from Excellent Britain into Northern Ireland at the moment which is absolutely extraordinary.”
Meanwhile, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has actually apologised for the “errors” that caused the triggering of Short article 16, and has admitted she underestimated the vaccine rollout for the bloc.