The protocol was initially established to avoid the return of border infrastructure between the British province and the Republic of Ireland, affected by three decades of civil war.
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British Secretary of State for Brexit David Frost on Tuesday October 12 presented a heavily revised version of the post-Brexit Northern Irish protocol. The text, which governs the British province’s trade with the rest of the United Kingdom after its departure from the European customs union and single market, “cannot continue in its current form”, he hammered. The revised version would notably allow “goods to circulate practically freely between Northern Ireland, which is de facto retained in the single European market, and the rest of the United Kingdom”, detailed David Frost.
This new version also plans to introduce a “international arbitration” to enforce single market laws in Northern Ireland, instead of the only recourse for the moment to a “system of European law controlled by the court of one of the parties”, the European Court of Justice (CJEU). The protocol was initially established to prevent the return of border infrastructure between the British province and the Republic of Ireland, affected by three decades of civil war. But the text is now held responsible for supply difficulties and is accused by the Northern Irish supporting the British crown of creating a border in the Irish Sea, raising fears of a return of tensions.
David Frost claims that this new version aims to “ensure that the peace process is not undermined” in the province. But these announcements, on the eve of the day when Brussels must present its own recommendations, angered Europeans. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney accused London of “reject solutions even before they are published”. “We are awaiting the proposals which will be presented tomorrow by Maros Sefcovic and the Commission, we will be really ready to discuss them, whatever they say, and we will obviously consider them in a serious, complete and positive way”, replied David Frost.