London and Brussels are heading for the umpteenth disagreement on account of Brexit. The British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, spoke first thing in the morning with the Vice President of the Commission responsible for this matter, Maros Sefcovic, to tell him what the law that she has prepared consists of, which contemplates not applying parts of the Irish Protocol of the North, the most complicated part of the UK’s exit agreements from the EU. The conversation ended in disgust, as Sefcovic makes clear by noting that the UK’s “unilateral action” “damages mutual trust and is a recipe for uncertainty.”
Spoke to @trussliz earlier where she informed me of 🇬🇧legislation to unilaterally disapply the Protocol. The EU has always paid utmost attention to the impact Brexit has on NI, offering workable solutions. Unilateral action is damaging to mutual trust & a formula for uncertainty. pic.twitter.com/CWqFSxy0GC
— Maroš Šefčovič🇪🇺 (@MarosSefcovic) June 13, 2022
Despite already clearly expressing the rejection, the reaction of Sefcovic, the voice of Brussels on Brexit, is contained. In his message, the Slovak states that his negotiating team “has always paid the utmost attention to the impact that Brexit has on Northern Ireland, offering viable solutions.” The objective is, on the one hand, to show anger, but, at the same time, to make it clear that the community capital is still committed to seeking a negotiated solution and not going to the extreme of suspending the Brexit agreements.
And the bet is maintained, although community sources have been showing their boredom and pessimism for some time about the attitude of the United Kingdom at the negotiating table. They point out that time after time the British side brings up new problems so that the situation does not progress and that without reaching the role of maximum guarantor of the text of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the last obstacle of the protocol that, in principle, was agreed by the Government of Boris Johnson and which he now flatly rejects. They have that feeling, above all, because they observe that every time the Conservative Executive has a problem -and there have been many lately- number 10 Downing Street resorts to Brexit to distract British public opinion.
In addition to its impact in Brussels, the comings and goings of London on this issue also have strong aftershocks in Dublin. Truss has also called her Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, who has reacted somewhat harsher than Sefcovic after hearing her: “The UK Government is now proposing to set aside international law, reject a partnership approach, ignore the majority in NEITHER [Irlanda del Norte] and deliberately increasing tension with an EU seeking compromise. We remain open to dialogue to reach an agreement, but his approach increases instability and is not a solution.”
Spoke with @trussliz.
UK Govt now proposing to set aside Int Law, reject a partnership approach, ignore majority in NI & deliberately ratchet up tension with an EU seeking compromise.
We remain open to dialogue to find agreement but his approach adds to instability & is no fix.
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) June 13, 2022
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