Brexit: UK pushing ‘politicisation of the issue’ says Zuleeg
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Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss remain embroiled in negotiations with the EU as they pursue their ideal Brexit. Over the last few months, the pair have hit numerous snags with bloc officials over several issues, with little noteworthy process. Express.co.uk has identified the key sticking points and potential consequences for millions of people living in the UK and EU nations.
The Northern Ireland Protocol
The most pertinent issue facing diplomats on both sides of the English Channel is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which binds goods destined for the country to Single Market regulations.
Officials designed the protocol to navigate the differing trade rules on either side of the north-south divide.
The protocol’s Irish Sea dividing line has become a point of significant contention for the unionist-based Conservative Party and Northern Ireland’s ex-largest Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
They have called on the EU to alter rules governing goods transportation by creating distinct paths for goods bound to Ireland and those staying within the UK.
Under the proposals, products bound for Northern Ireland from mainland Britain would only have to adhere to British standards.
Those destined for the Republic of Ireland would need to comply with the EU’s rules and regulations.
The bloc proposed plans that would cut checks by 80 percent and relax other rules, but the UK has rejected them.
The Government has also called for the EU to rescind the European Courts of Justice (ECJ) role as an ultimate dispute arbiter.
With no resolution in sight, the Government is now preparing to unilaterally rewrite parts of the protocol.
Ministers have proposed legislation that would change aspects of the agreement without the EU’s agreement.
Ms Truss will likely seek to publish draft laws laying the groundwork for these efforts before summer should negotiations fail.
Lorry border checks
One significant issue impeding the smoothness of the final Brexit framework is checks for lorries preparing to cross the English Channel.
Disaster relief charity RE:ACT Disaster Response, which works in war-torn countries, has signed a deal with Kent County Council to aid lorry drivers stuck in miles-long queues as they head for the Port of Dover.
The truckers had little access to toilets, food or drink on the M20 and M2, with gridlock expected to continue for nearly two months.
Kent County Council said the issue was of “extreme urgency” as it awarded the emergency contract.
Recent research from York University has found that the Government has struggled to deliver for the fishing industry.
Despite forming a central pillar of the Brexit campaign, a study conducted by the university and its colleagues at the University of Lincoln, ABPmer marine consultancy, and New Economics Foundation found it faces new challenges.
Dr Bryce Stewart from York’s Department of Environment and Geography said: “Most of the significant increases in catch quotas are for just a few fisheries such as western mackerel and North Sea sole and herring.
“Most fishermen, particularly those in small boats, have seen few if any benefits, so due to new challenges around trade are likely to be worse off.”
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