Northern Ireland Protocol: UK on ‘cusp’ of new Brexit deal, says Dominic Raab

  • Andre Roden Paul
  • BBC news

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Watch: Brexit deal progresses in Northern Ireland – Raab

The deputy prime minister said the UK was “on the verge” of securing a new Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

Dominic Raab told the BBC that the government had made “great progress” in negotiations with the EU.

Britain wants to change the Northern Ireland Protocol. This is an agreement with the EU to check certain goods on entry from other parts of the UK.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was leaving “everything” to negotiations to reach a deal.

In a BBC Sunday interview with Laura Kuensberg, Raab said: “We’re in a crisis and we’ve made great progress, we’re not there yet, but it’s a really important deal. will be…

“I think this will first and foremost represent a paradigm shift for the Northern Irish community, but I think it will be a big achievement.”

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has complained of a “democratic deficit” in which Northern Ireland is subject to EU rules but has no voice.

Mr Raab said the EU had “moved” on some issues and said: “If there are new rules to apply in relation to Northern Ireland, it must be right that there is a democratic check for Northern Ireland. No,’ he said.

The protocol, signed by Boris Johnson in 2020, will allow Northern Ireland to continue to comply with several EU laws and allow goods to flow freely across the border into the Republic of Ireland without checks.

The DUP believes that the Protocol will not only undermine the country’s position in the rest of the UK, but will also adversely affect trade flows.

The party blocked the formation of a devolved government in Northern Ireland, throwing it into a political stalemate.

Mr Raab said the UK wants to move away from checking all cargo arriving in Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK. The EU is concerned that goods traveling between Northern Ireland and her EU pose a threat to the single market.

He suggested an “intelligence-driven” approach to merchandise rather than a “check-box” approach. “This effectively means looking at what is going on in the Republic in case there is a risk of goods being sent to Northern Ireland. will be.”

What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?

The Northern Ireland Protocol is a trade agreement negotiated during Brexit negotiations. This allows goods to be transported across Irish borders without checks.

Before Brexit, both sides were subject to the same EU rules, so it was easy to transport goods across this border. A special trade deal was needed as Northern Ireland shares a border with the Republic of Ireland, which is part of her EU after the UK leaves.

The EU has strict food regulations and border controls are required for certain goods such as milk and eggs arriving from non-EU countries.

Due to Northern Ireland’s troubled political history, land borders are a sensitive issue. As part of these checks, there were concerns that cameras and border posts could lead to instability.

The UK and EU have agreed that upholding the Northern Ireland peace deal (the Good Friday Agreement) is an absolute priority.

As such, both sides signed the Northern Ireland Protocol as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

It is now part of international law.

Rishi Sunak said on Saturday that his government would “give everything we have” to finalize a deal to resolve the protocol issues.

But he has been warned by euroskeptic Conservative MPs not to rush the new deal to a vote in parliament.

Asked whether MPs would be able to vote on the new deal, Raab said, “Parliament will have the ability to express itself.”

Marc François, who heads a European study group of euroskeptic Tory lawmakers, warned Sunak that it would be “incredibly unwise” to strike a new deal without giving MPs a vote.

He told Sky News:

“So if you’ve made a deal they’re proud of, show us the text. Let our lawyers do it. Let’s fully understand what that means.” And at that point, we may be ready to vote…it.”

He added that EU law would need to be “erased” from Northern Ireland and brought in line with England, Scotland and Wales.

But former Prime Minister John Major has urged Conservative and DUP MPs to ensure that concerns about the European Court of Justice do not stand in the way of easing trade and restoring Northern Ireland’s devolved government.

He told BBC Radio 4 Westminster Hour:

“They talk about democracy. Democracy is thrown away. [Northern Ireland] Assembly does not sit. i need to get them back. ”

In a meeting with Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday, Labor’s shadow foreign minister, David Lammy, said his party would vote for a new deal in the UK’s national interest and the restoration of the Northern Ireland parliament.

“In our judgment, any arrangement would be better than the current one.

On Saturday, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also said the deal was “creeping towards a conclusion” and urged the EU and the UK to “take another step forward” to finalize the deal.

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