Thursday, October 28

UK to seek lifting of Brexit controls in Northern Ireland | Brexit

The UK government will seek the lifting of unexpected Brexit controls in Northern Ireland, including controls on pets crossing the Irish Sea and a ban on British soil from entering the region in potted plants from gardening providers. English.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said he would write to European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič on Tuesday seeking urgent action on the Brexit controls that were affecting the “daily lives” of people in Ireland. North.

He told parliament he would address the extension of the April 1 grace period on controls on chilled meats, including British sausages, and “everything from transporting pets to supplying plants and seeds, gardens in Ireland from North and the daily life of our fellow citizens do not need protection ”.

EU rules on soil and pets are designed to prevent disease from entering the Republic of Ireland. The original Brexit plan was to draw up a list of goods “at risk” of crossing the border, but this did not materialize due to disputes between negotiators and time constraints.

Gove will also meet with Northern Ireland Prime Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill, and Šefčovič on Wednesday to discuss escalating Brexit tensions in Northern Ireland.

“All of these issues and more are ways the protocol is having an impact on the people of Northern Ireland, which is not in the interests of Northern Ireland, the UK, or indeed good relations between US and EU. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič fully understands the need to solve these problems. And with good will, I believe that we can [do so] quickly, ”Gove said.

The meeting comes after all Northern Ireland and EU officials were removed from their duties of physical control of goods from Britain amid concerns about their safety following reports of “threatening behavior” and graffiti that threatened border officials and former Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

The threats have been widely condemned, and Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin described them as “sinister and ugly.”

“Obviously, we will do everything we can to help them defuse the situation,” he said.

DUP MP for Belfast East, Gavin Robinson, told Gove that GB to NI soil or pets had “zero risk” for the EU and should not have been part of agreements designed to stop fraud and smuggling. in the Republic of Ireland.

Gove pledged to redouble efforts on the functioning of the protocol and urged the EU to follow suit.

“The EU needs to work with us quickly and determinedly and resolve a number of outstanding issues with the protocol, he said.

The parties in Belfast are sharply divided on the EU’s withdrawal and the Northern Ireland protocol, which keeps the land border open in Ireland but imposes controls in the Irish Sea, and unexpected bans on land and pet controls have fueled opponents in loyal communities.

The Northern Ireland Police Service has not yet identified the sources of the threats to border personnel, but outgoing Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has said that controls in the Irish Sea were “disproportionate” and that they “certainly had created a lot of tension in the community. “

Gove was pressured by multiple MPs, including Labor’s Hilary Benn, and Conservative MP Simon Hoare, chairman of the Northern Ireland affairs committee, to seek permanent solutions.

“We have to make the protocol work and work well,” Hoare said.

Louise Haigh, Northern Ireland’s shadow secretary, said: “Now calm is needed and everyone has a responsibility to reduce rhetoric and ensure the safety of people in Northern Ireland.”

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