A practical problems, practical solutions. The Northern Ireland Protocol is not fully operational, generates important economic and bureaucratic costs and those most affected on the island have asked for adjustments, so Brussels now proposes to reduce up to 50% customs administrative observes and up to 80% Physical controls of goods that are not high risk. It is not what London asked but the maximum that the EU seems willing to grant without risking the unique market, the authority of the Court of Justice and the Spirit of what signed with Boris Johnson after three long years of strenuous negotiation. Of course: Everyone conditioned Johnson starts once to meet the signed, label the goods that can not come to Ireland, build installations for inspectors and gives real-time access to property databases.
The package announced by the European Commission responds to four areas: the aforementioned of customs and phytosanitary exams, but also to the scope of medicines and the participation of the main actors of the area, from political parties that want direct interlocution with Brussels to civil associations and business groups. The idea is to drastically reduce the time and costs necessary to process orders, download boats, buy in the United Kingdom. Local entrepreneurs have been adapting to the new reality, they have more or less controlled the procedure, but they explain that it is too onerous, and the new battery of suggestions could relieve the bulk of its burden. The decision, however, do not have them, but the British executive.
The EU is willing to adjust, to alleviate, to retouch everything that is susceptible to improvement, but refuses to renegotiate the Protocol and to renounce safeguards, as Lord Frost's speech yesterday in Lisbon seemed to demand. "It is the only viable solution," explain high community sources, assuming in any case that, once again, assumptions are going to be made without any guarantee of success and despite the countless enjoyes, provocations and breaches. An illustrative example for neighbors, such as Switzerland or Turkey, which is being fulfilled.
Ideas are simple, but implementation is complicated, because London has not fulfilled their share at any time of the process. He has not given real-time access to customs databases, it is not labeling products, boycott the inspectors. The idea is that the goods that come from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland to stay there, without reaching the single market via the Republic of Ireland, spend fewer real controls. But for this UNITED KINGDOM must commit to doing what it should, from the labeling, specifying that the products can not leave the United Kingdom to build the agreed facilities for border controls, going through trials in the supply chains seeking irregularities. Brussels also requests a rapid reaction mechanism to solve any detected problem and the right to unilateral measures if London do not solve clearly identified deficiencies. If there are understanding, four out of five phytosanitary controls performed now (without counting live animals) would disappear.
Regarding the customs issue, if the United Kingdom articulates controls and gives real-time access to databases, 50% of all paperwork could be eliminated, which is currently a nightmare for companies, imported or exporters. What happens is that this was already signed and has never been applied, so the perverse incentive for the United Kingdom to persist in non-compliance is clear.
If everything went ahead, and depends on the negotiation that starts today, more companies, especially SMEs, could benefit from the product exemption scheme, and the list of goods considered without risk will be expanded. About medicines, one of the main concerns in Northern streets, the Commission would accept that pharmaceuticals based in Great Britain, but supplied Northern Ireland, can maintain their regulatory functions as well, without the need for a local headquarters such as He was fixed on the protocol. Perhaps the most complicated element because it would force the EU to modify its rules, and that, depending on the formula that is chosen, yet to be determined, could require the approval of a very hostile European Parliament to London.
Brussels plays the letter of maturity, a paternalistic tone before a former irresponsible and non-compliant partner. There is a part of the Union, led by the France that collides these days for fishing issues with its neighbors on the other side of the canal, which wants more firmness, which thinks there are too many concessions. And another, as pragmatic as a conservative, which prefers small concessions, by unfair and dangerous as a background that may be, to go to the open shock and risk that London activates Article 16 of the Protocol, paralyzes and is disregarded by a legal and tariff battle. Without government in Berlin, with elections in spring in France and a crisis for the price of light, there are already too many open fronts. Something that London knows and explodes, even from a weakened position and, in many latitudes, even ridiculed.Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 06:55