The United Kingdom and the European Union are close to resolving the dispute over the special status of Northern Ireland after Brexit, TASS reports with reference to The Times.
According to the newspaper, a new customs agreement may be concluded in the near future. After several months of negotiations, London obtained concessions from Brussels on the implementation of customs inspections in Northern Ireland, as well as on the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the region.
“The EU has significantly moved away from its original position. No one will be delighted with the deal, but there is hope that everyone will be able to accept it,” the source said.
The office of the British Prime Minister did not confirm to the publication that an agreement had actually been reached. They stressed that the parties are engaged in “intensive study” of controversial issues. It is also unclear when London and Brussels can officially announce the deal. According to some reports, everything was ready for this in December. Now we can talk about April or later.
The aggravation of the situation in Ulster occurred after the entry into force of the trade agreement concluded in December 2020 and defined the terms of cooperation between the UK and the European Union after Brexit. Northern Ireland, which left the EU, remained a member of the community customs union. This dual status made it possible to avoid the appearance of a border between Ulster and Ireland, but required the introduction of control procedures in Northern Irish ports for the transportation of a number of goods from other parts of the kingdom.
The supply of many types of products to Northern Ireland is difficult due to bureaucratic difficulties. This causes discontent among the local population. London has been insisting for two years on the need to revise the protocol on Northern Ireland, which is part of the Brexit agreement, but Brussels has consistently refused to make concessions to London on this issue.