Brussels urges reset in EU-UK relations to deal with key points – MajorUpdates

The EU’s Brexit negotiator has referred to as for a strategic partnership with the UK to deal with key points together with local weather change and European safety, saying {that a} decision of the dispute over Northern Ireland would “re-establish political trust”. 

Maros Sefcovic, a European Commission vice-president, mentioned London and Brussels ought to search to resolve the “politically sensitive issues” over the Northern Ireland protocol early within the new yr and earlier than campaigning begins for the regional meeting’s May elections.

Speaking to the Financial Times on Friday, the day earlier than UK Brexit minister Lord David Frost’s resignation turned public, Sefcovic welcomed the UK’s “more constructive” method previously two weeks. London dropped a requirement for the European Court of Justice to lose its position in implementing the protocol and signalled additional compromises, which some political observers consider prompted Frost’s choice to give up.

Sefcovic on Sunday declined to touch upon Frost’s resignation.

He mentioned a Northern Ireland deal would enable the 2 sides “to move to where I think we both should belong: to the global stage, where we are tackling together global challenges from climate change, some security threats from the fringes of Europe and really develop that strategic element of our co-operation”.

He mentioned he anticipated to maintain authorized motion in opposition to the UK frozen offered the extra constructive dialogue continued, including that his aim was to “depoliticise and de-dramatise” the connection between London and Brussels. “We don’t want more conflict, we want less.”

But the Slovak former diplomat added that the UK menace of triggering Article 16, which might droop a lot of the protocol, was making it tougher to advance different facets of the connection, together with UK membership of the Horizon scientific analysis programme, which stays suspended. He referred to as for London to “restore the value of the signature below the agreements which have been signed”.

“On our side there is much more care into studying the documents we are signing.” 

Frost’s hardline stance did persuade Brussels to supply adjustments to the protocol in October, accepting it was creating trade disruption and political concern in Northern Ireland.

The protocol prevented a trade border on the island of Ireland by protecting the area within the EU’s single marketplace for items, with checks going down between Northern Ireland and the British mainland as a substitute.

Brussels on Friday legislated to make sure British medicines might proceed to be marketed there. It has additionally provided an “express lane” for items heading to Northern Ireland that had been unlikely to leak throughout the border into Ireland and the broader single market.

It claims that the adjustments would reduce customs checks in half and well being checks by 80 per cent, though the UK has questioned these figures, with the outcome that talks have hardly progressed.

Sefcovic mentioned he might assure these reductions however “everything depends on the quality of the safeguards” from the UK, resembling giving the EU real-time entry to customs knowledge.

“Can the trusted trade scheme really be trusted? What will happen in the case where we have some kind of public health alert, some spoilt shrimp or some kind of damaged goods that need to be pulled off the shelves?

“Why are you telling us that putting a sticker on a food product ‘only for the UK’ is a huge problem when you have a sticker on everything on the shelves that you can take two for the price of three or there is a discount? What is so cosmically difficult about that?”

He referred to as for an finish to “political dramas”. “Ninety per cent of the problems coming to us . . . could be solved at a technical level.

“It would good if we could solve this as quickly as possible.”

https://www.ft.com/content material/a5cf97bb-034a-4528-a8a8-eb29233a5fe8

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