No deadlines are set in the talks, according to NI Protocol's Chris Heaton-Harris

Michael Heaton-Harris

According to Chris Heaton-Harris, the UK and EU are not establishing deadlines for their discussions regarding the NI Protocol.

The secretary of state was discussing trade opportunities during his first visit to the US when he made the statement.

Mr. Heaton-Harris has also participated in recent talks between London and Brussels.

He told BBC News NI that deadlines were "proven to be one sure-fire way" to end negotiations.

The Northern Ireland Secretary also declined to comment on how the discussions were going at the time and claimed that "equally has the potential to unravel them.".

The possibility of a deal being reached prior to the upcoming Good Friday Agreement 25th anniversary in April and whether President Biden would visit Northern Ireland were questions put to Mr. Heaton-Harris.

Everyone is aware of the rumors of a potential visit, but nothing has been confirmed, he said. ".

The protocol, which is a component of the UK-EU Brexit deal, maintains Northern Ireland's compliance with some EU trade regulations.

It prevents a hard border with the Irish Republic from being necessary after Brexit by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU's single market for goods.

The EU acknowledges that this will cause problems for many businesses, but it also adds a new trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

It is also undermining Northern Ireland's status in the UK, according to some unionists.

If the EU refuses to accept changes, the UK will renegotiate most of the agreement, claiming that the protocol is ineffective.

Paul Givan of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who served as Northern Ireland's first minister, resigned in protest against the protocol in February 2022, causing the power-sharing arrangement to collapse.

No devolved government has existed in Northern Ireland since that time.

The DUP must first propose a candidate for the position of deputy first minister before Sinn Féin, which last year overtook as the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, can propose its first minister nomination.

Map of the the UK showing how goods travelling from GB into NI and onward to the Republic of Ireland.

One of the adjustments the UK has suggested is a green lane/red lane system for goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, with trusted traders using a green lane for goods intended only for Northern Ireland.

The EU has agreed that Northern Ireland-bound goods should be handled more gently.

The UK claimed to have developed a system that is capable of doing this by combining five different databases that deal with things like customs declarations, safety and security declarations, and ferry manifests.

The system has been operating in a pilot program for the past few months after being shown to EU officials last summer.

The EU's recognition that the system functions is significant, but it does not necessarily mean that a new agreement on the flow of goods is required.

The amount of data that businesses are required to provide when shipping goods from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland has previously been a roadblock, which can sometimes be more of an issue than physical inspections.

Over the holiday season, the UK announced that it would soon introduce legislation that would result in the construction of new facilities at Northern Ireland's ports to enforce the protocol.

The government claimed that this was required for red lane inspections, but the EU has long complained that there aren't enough border control posts at the ports.

Source link

You've successfully subscribed to NewsNow
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Unable to sign you in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.