UK Boris Johnson has been advised by the European Union to humbly accept a massive U-turn with a fresh deal on Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland (NI), as both sides move toward resolving the matter.
The EU authorities said that 90 per cent of border checks could possibly be removed only if Britain aligns its food standards with what is obtainable within the EU space. However, both the UK and the EU have been urged to be cautious in handling the matter.
Ireland’s Europe minister Thomas Byrne has also warned that the matter is delicate but admitted it would be excellent if the deal could be agreed amicably as it would put an end to problems in Northern Ireland and those that UK exporters are confronted with.
Though the possibility of such agreement on food is currently not in sight because it would be a monumental U-turn for the UK, which has a firm standing on most of its red lines in negotiations currently and has strongly stood against any regulatory agreement in the name of achieving a hard Brexit deal.
Talks have also revolved around whether the UK will adopt an agreement that’s similar to that of Australia and New Zealand agrifood trade, then border checks could be eased to a good proportion. Though industry insiders do not believe that doing so will address concerns from loyalists as it would still require a significant amount of paperwork.
This comes as the UK and the EU officials are currently tied in serious technical negotiations throughout this month over the future regulations on plants, food, and other items moving from Britain mainland to Northern Ireland.
According to reports, both sides have noted that while progress is being made, there hasn’t been a strong effort on removing checks on goods but instead looking at eliminating the series of rolling deadlines from the implementation of border controls.
However, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis last week told politicians in the country during a visit to Belfast that the contentious protocol would not be removed, despite demands from the DUP and others with violent actions on the streets of Belfast.