Brussels and London want more intensive consultations on Northern Ireland

Photo: ANP

The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed to intensify their consultations on the difficult situation that has arisen in Northern Ireland after Britain’s exit from the European Union. This is the outcome of the first conversation between Brussels and top British diplomats after the resignation of Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Frost.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who took office from Frost in December, issued a joint statement with her counterpart in Brussels, Marosh Siewicz. “We share a desire for a positive relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, based on our shared belief in freedom and democracy.”

The situation in Northern Ireland is a recurring sore point in relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. After the British left the bloc of the country, it was agreed that goods from the European Union could continue to enter Northern Ireland unimpeded, despite the fact that it was part of the United Kingdom. Otherwise, customs controls at the border with Ireland would be reimposed, contravening the peace agreement signed by pro-British Protestants and pro-Irish Catholics in the 1990s.

But the British government has long complained that the agreements are not enforceable, as there are now customs controls on goods destined for Britain to Northern Ireland. Truss Frost’s predecessor regularly threatened to unilaterally scrap Brexit deals in negotiations on the issue.

Truss still does not rule out the possibility of Britain taking unilateral measures if talks with the European Union go nowhere. After consulting with Sevovich, she said she favored a solution that the two sides could agree on. The two plan to continue talking on January 24.

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