Brexit: UK removing 'unnecessary EU laws' says expert
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The UK Government has said it still believes the Protocol can work as intended but they are concerned it will prove “unsustainable” if the EU’s only concern is protecting the single market. They accused the bloc of undermining rather than supporting the Good Friday Agreement.
A senior Government source said: “The protocol was always a delicate balance. We made huge compromises, in the best possible spirit, to avoid a hard border and protect the Good Friday Agreement – listening to the genuine concerns raised by Brexit.
“The protocol does many good things, but the balance that the protocol sought to achieve is under risk and the UK’s internal market is being undermined.”
There is alarm in London at what it sees as a “hardening of position” by the EU, with Brussels accused of treating the regulatory border in the Irish Sea like “any other external EU border”.
The protocol – agreed in the Brexit deal – is designed to avoid customs checks along the Irish border.
But, trust was badly damaged in January when the EU moved to block the export of Covid-19 vaccines to Northern Ireland.
The decision was reversed but the EU’s willingness to use override the protocol using its “Article 16” emergency provisions during a health crisis caused cross-party shock.
A Whitehall source warned that “nothing can be left off the table” and said the UK has “over-estimated” the EU’s ability to be reasonable.
The source said: “We over-estimated the EU’s ability to be reasonable, particularly after the damage caused by the unilateral action in January.
“After so much work to achieve finely balanced compromise, their actions are destabilising things on the ground in Northern Ireland.
“No Government can stand by as businesses and consumers struggle.
“If we cannot find pragmatic solutions, nothing can be left off the table.”
Britons have since urged the Prime Minister to scrap the Protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement with the bloc.
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One person said: “UK should ditch the whole WA, I’m sick of hearing how the EU has decided to ‘punish’ us!!!
“Let’s be rid of the whole game and strike out properly.”
A second reader added: “If the Protocol is causing the people of NI such hardship then it must be scrapped.
“NI is part of the UK and should never have been left to the control and whim of what the EU thinks is best.
“It has proven to be a disaster for NI.
“Boris…do the right thing and scrap this nonsense now.
“You have every right to after the turmoil that it has caused.”
Another claimed the EU is “provoking civil war in Britain”.
A fourth reader added: “The EU failed to honor anything or work for anyone’s interest but its own.
“Walk away from the WA and take all our fish back.
“Let the EU close all the Irish borders because messing with NI you may as well scrap the CTA and have done with it.”
Another person said: “Yes SCRAP it, and scrap the WA too and let’s trade on WTO terms and regain complete control over our waters.”
Someone else added: “The EU is trying very hard to exert control over the UK and failing abysmally.
“The EU weakens whilst the UK strengthens, and the more the UK strengthens, the less notice it takes of the EU’s screaming, foot-stamping, and tantrums.
“One country taking on 27 and winning. How frustrating must that be for the failing, inept, impotent EU.”
Northern Ireland was rocked by street violence last month and there is anger in unionist communities at how the post-Brexit protocol has disrupted trade with England, Wales and Scotland.
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