Irish protocol conflict risks long-term damage to relations with the EU – POLITICO

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Failure to resolve a dispute over customs rules in the Irish Sea could undermine UK-EU cooperation on global challenges for decades to come, UK Brexit Minister Lord warned on Saturday. Frost.

“I am concerned that this process may be capable of generating a kind of cold mistrust between us and the EU that could spread through the relationship,” Frost said in a statement. speech. “This holds back the potential for a new era of cooperation between like-minded states in a world that needs us to work together effectively.”

The UK and the EU are trying to iron out differences over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which applies EU rules to goods arriving in Northern Ireland from Britain. It is designed to protect the EU’s single market and avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Since the protocol entered into force in January, the two parties have disagreed, with the United Kingdom to push for much less customs checks. In what has been called the “sausage war,” negotiators agreed not to enforce rules on chilled meats until an already extended September 30 deadline and talks continue.

This year, Brussels launched, and then suspended, legal action against London for its refusal to fully implement the deal.

Lord Frost said “for now” the UK government would not trigger a suspension or “sweep away all existing arrangements”, but warned the disagreement could have very serious consequences if it were not resolved.

“When you look at the protocol and compare it to other international challenges we face, you wonder what future generations would say about us if we were unable to make the small muscle movements necessary to get it right,” he said at a British conference. Irish Association Conference in Oxford.

“We have no interest in having a strained and difficult relationship with the EU or its member states, and especially with Ireland. Quite the contrary,” Frost insisted.

Speaking at the same conference on Friday, the Irish Prime Minister Michel Martin said the commitments made under the Brexit deal must be honored. “A future positive and constructive partnership is in everyone’s interest. But it will only be achieved if there is a relationship of trust and a willingness to honor the commitments made,” he said.


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