Maros Sefcovic has ahead of a crunch meeting today warned the UK that there will always be consequences to Brexit. The vice-President of the EU Commission is prepared to meet today with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove to discuss the trade issues experienced in Northern Ireland.
Even as the UK asks for an extension to the grace period on goods flowing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Maros Sefcovic insisted that not “everything can be solved”. Northern Irish officials will attend the committee today in support of extending the grace period until 2023.
Speaking ahead of the crunch meeting today, Mr Sefcovic said, “Not everything can be solved. There are inevitable consequences of Brexit, and simply we have to follow EU law, we have to follow the agreement we just signed.
“The EU will always remain constructive and solution-driven, but I’ve also reminded my British partners that this must be a two-way street.
“We’ve had a very intense session in December to make sure entry points would be up and ready by the middle of this year.
“That we would have real-time access to the IT customs systems which would smooth further customs formalities, that we would more information on how the trusted trader scheme is working for GB distributors to make sure supermarkets in NI are properly supplied.”
As part of the protocol, Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s single market for goods and enforces some of its customs arrangements. From January 1 a grace period began, meaning that not all of the EU’s rules and regulations have yet been applied.
The grace period will run out on April 1 with Mr Gove requesting for it to be extended to 2023 in a letter he did earlier this month.
Just like the EU official said, Brussels has made certain demands to see certain IT data information and port infrastructure created in order for the grace period to be extended.