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Friday, July 1, 2022

Britain will present measure that would change Brexit rules

LONDON ( Associated Press) — The British government is due to introduce a bill Monday that would unilaterally change trading rules for Northern Ireland after Brexit, amid opposition from lawmakers who believe the move violates international law. .

The bill aims to remove parts of a trade treaty that Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed with the European Union, removing controls on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The British government has claimed the move is legal, but the EU has threatened to retaliate, raising the possibility of a trade war between the two sides.

On Monday, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the bill “marks a particularly low point in Britain’s approach to Brexit”.

Coveney tweeted that the UK is seeking to “deliberately increase tension with an EU seeking a deal”.

Johnson tried to brush off criticism, telling reporters that the proposed change is “relatively easy to do.”

“Frankly, it’s a relatively trivial set of adjustments in the grand scheme of things,” he told LBC radio station.

He argued that his government’s “superior and prior legal commitment” is to the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement and to the preservation of stability in Northern Ireland.

Arrangements for Northern Ireland – the only part of Britain to share a land border with an EU nation – have proven to be the thorniest issue in Britain’s divorce from the bloc, which became final at the end of 2020. .

At the heart of the dispute is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which seeks to maintain peace between Northern Ireland, part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, part of the EU, after Brexit.

Britain and the EU agreed, as part of their Brexit deal, that Ireland’s land border would remain free of customs posts and other controls because an open border is a key pillar of the peace process that ended decades of violence in Ireland. from North.

Instead, to protect the EU’s single market, there are controls on some goods, such as meat and eggs, entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

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Associated Press writer Samuel Petrequin in Brussels contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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