EU negotiator says UK's Brexit legislation is on the table

EU's chief Brexit negotiator accused the UK of putting "a gun on a table" by introducing legislation to repeal post-Brexit trade rules between Britain, Northern Ireland.

EU negotiator says UK's Brexit legislation is on the table

EU's chief Brexit negotiator accused the UK of putting "a gun on a table" by introducing legislation to repeal post-Brexit trade rules between Britain, Northern Ireland.

Maros Sefcovic stated that the EU would not negotiate on the basis this bill at a London event.

Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary, says it will "fix” border problems.

However, Mr Sefcovic stated that her plan was illegal and would cause uncertainty. He also said it would not work.

He spoke two days after the initial approval of the government's Northern Ireland Protocol Bill by MPs.

Ministers would be able to amend the UK-EU 2019 agreement, also known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, which introduced post-Brexit controls on goods shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

These were created to bypass checks at the UK's border between Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, they are not popular among unionists in Northern Ireland.

Ms. Truss stated this week that the protocol was "very practical" and created "a growing feeling of insecurity about the rights and aspirations for some members of the community".

She said that the protocol was not finalized upon signing. "It expressly acknowledges the necessity for possible new arrangements in line with the Belfast (Good Friday), Agreement."

The UK government is willing to allow goods to leave Great Britain for Northern Ireland without having to go through checks. However, they must remain in Northern Ireland.

According to the post-Brexit rules, Northern Ireland is still part of the EU's single marketplace. Mr Sefcovic stated that it was not for London "to unilaterally change the rules and decide who enters the EU single market".

Monday night, MPs voted in favor of the bill by 295 votes to 221.

Some Conservative MPs, including the ex-Prime Minister Theresa May, have criticised the bill, arguing it violated international law and the agreement.

Boris Johnson suggested that the bill might become law before the year ends. However, it will likely face fierce opposition from the House of Lords.

Speaking at an event hosted Bloomberg, Mr Sefcovic claimed that the protocol, which was negotiated by the EU & UK, protected Northern Ireland's peace process.

He stated that the EU could not and would not accept the delicate balance being unilaterally or illegally removed by the UK government.

He didn't elaborate on the EU's response to the UK’s move.

According to the diplomat from Slovakia, it is "implicit - and unfair" for London to assume that all barriers will be removed when goods are moved to Northern Ireland from the UK.

He claimed that, while he tried to bring "creative solution" to the table and the UK had taken a "myway or the highway" approach.

He stated that the EU was "ready for talks" but said, "You are not going negotiate when you have guns on the table."

Ms. Truss, on the other hand, accused the EU not being flexible enough.

She claimed that the protocol had had "devastating effects" on Northern Ireland, and that the UK was left with no other option but to take unilateral action.

Continue reading: A guide for the Brexit border problem

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