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The head of Brussels’s Brexit has called for “good faith” as relations in the UK improve

The head of Brussels’s Brexit has called for “good faith” as relations in the UK improve

The EU’s Brexit chief said he was convinced solutions could be found to “minimize” the Brexit disruption in Northern Ireland, and called for a “good faith” approach to applying the new trade rules to reduce tensions.

EU Commission Vice-President Breos Maros Sefcovic has told the FT that discussions with the UK believe it could lead to approaches that protect the EU market from the illegal entry of goods and reduce problems for people and businesses in Northern Ireland. he stressed that “effort must be made on both sides”.

After a while resurrection of unrest and violence in the region, Britain and the EU agreed last week Increasing talks on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol – part of the 2019 Brexit treaty that created a trade restriction on the Irish sea to ensure that all goods going from Britain to Northern Ireland comply with the block’s rules.

Speaking to the FT on Friday after Thursday dinner with his UK counterpart David Frost, Sefcovic said the EU would never be able to bear the “risk to the integrity of the single market” that could arise if not properly controlled. But he said these conditions left room for discussion of practical solutions.

“It’s not easy to do, it’s a massive task,” he said, noting that the UK’s interviews cover more than 20 topics. “But what we need is to properly fulfill all vision and commitments of good faith [already] to get it up and running, so we can see that the system works and then we can see the risks associated with the different measures that are being applied, ”he said.

“We also ask colleagues in the UK how to tell [they] I want to minimize the risk, ”he said.

On Sunday, Irish taoiseach Micheál Martin said he “sincerely” believed the protocol was “a direct consequence of attempts to limit the potential devastation of Brexit on this island”.

“It’s complex, but not as complex as it is presented,” he said, noting that “significant progress” has been made in recent days while Ireland, the UK and the EU have been working on “how to tone the conflict”. and show how Northern Ireland arrangements can work. We can face this difficult time with openness and good faith. ”

The Irish leader warned that “very serious damage can come if we continue to see people who continue to try to use Brexit as a point of conflict or as an issue … presenting each issue as a win-lose struggle with zero summation”.

Sefcovic said it was a “very professional partnership” between UK and EU officials in Northern Ireland and that relations between London and Brussels had been resolved. spit in the last month of the protocol, when Britain blinded Brussels by unilaterally prolonging the renunciation of certain rules of the protocol – Brussels launched a movement for legal action.

Sefcovic recalled that he and Frost had known each other since the mid-2000s, when Frost was working in the EU budget negotiations as a UK official and the Slovak politician as his country’s ambassador to the EU.

Sefcovic warns that they have exchanged numbers to have a “normal phone” to avoid conflict, Sefcovic warns: we will do what we have. “

Asked if he believes the EU is achieving a “good faith” implementation in the UK, he said the two sides have agreed to seek joint solutions. “I will definitely do what I can. . . and I think they will do the same. “

Sefcovic said hitting what could be done to reduce disruptions in trade: “Smoother, faster controls, we can do a lot of things through computer systems, and of course there are other ways to do that.”

Sefcovic reiterated the EU’s position that in the face of steps that would reduce trade friction, the UK would be committed to complying with EU animal health and food safety regulations. The move has been ruled out by the British government for reasons of independence, although UK officials have said the country would be interested in negotiating a veterinary agreement with the EU’s New Zealand party, where each side recognizes each other’s standards. .

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