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UK’s Johnson urges EU to contemplate post-Brexit proposals severely

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By Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday to contemplate severely Britain’s proposals to vary what he referred to as the “unsustainable” approach a Brexit deal is governing commerce with Northern Eire.

Because it accomplished its exit from the EU on the finish of final yr, Britain’s ties with the bloc have reached new lows, with either side accusing one another of performing in unhealthy religion over an settlement for post-Brexit commerce with Northern Eire.

London accuses Brussels of being too purist, or legalistic, in decoding what the deal means for some items shifting from Britain to its province of Northern Eire. The EU says it’s adhering to the deal, which Johnson signed simply final yr.

Britain proposed on Wednesday to renegotiate elements of the Northern Eire protocol that govern the motion of products similar to chilled meats, and to dispense with EU oversight of the accord.

The EU has rejected the demand to renegotiate, with von der Leyen repeating the bloc’s message on Twitter, saying: “The EU will proceed to be inventive and versatile throughout the Protocol framework. However we is not going to renegotiate.”

Johnson spoke to van der Leyen on Thursday.

“The prime minister set out that the way in which the protocol was presently working was unsustainable. He stated that options couldn’t be discovered by the present mechanisms of the protocol and that is why we might set out proposals for important adjustments to it,” Johnson’s spokesman informed reporters.

Johnson urged the EU to “take a look at the proposals severely and work with the UK on them” saying this might put the UK-EU relationship on a greater footing.

Britain drafted the proposals in a single paper that it issued on Wednesday to attempt to pressure stuttering negotiations ahead on making the so-called protocol work higher. Some critics say few of the options are new and will largely be dismissed by the EU.

The protocol addresses the most important conundrum raised by the divorce: methods to protect the fragile peace dropped at the province by the U.S.-brokered 1998 Good Friday peace accord – by sustaining an open border – with out opening a again door by neighbouring Eire to the EU’s single market of 450 million folks.

It primarily requires checks on items between the British mainland and Northern Eire, which stays a part of the EU customs space. These have proved burdensome to firms and an anathema to unionists, who’re fiercely supportive of the province remaining a part of the UK.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Enhancing by Michael Holden and Frances Kerry)

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