The European Union (EU) will propose concessions geared towards defusing the protracted deadlock over the Brexit agreement, with an offer to significantly reduce border checks on British goods entering Northern Ireland potentially on the cards.
The proposal comes on the heels of comments by Brexit Minister, Lord Frost, who warned the EU that it would be a “historic misjudgement” not to rewrite the deal in the light of recent events.
Frost was accused of poking tensions when he accused the EU of being “disrespectful” and attempting to reverse the referendum result. The Minister has been unremittingly vocal about re-writing the protocol to unbundle the bottlenecks that have led to a political face-off between the UK and the EU in recent months.
Sources close to Brussels believe that the EU will offer the waiver of up to 50 per cent of post-Brexit border checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from mainland Britain, with more than half on chilled meats and plants.
Vice president of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, who is billed to speak at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon has stated that the measures will be “very far-reaching” and would tackle contentions bordering on the movement of agri-food goods and medicines across the Irish Sea.
The EU, however, has maintained that the concessions have been borne out of talks with businesses on both sides of the Irish border and not necessarily due to Frost’s outburst.
Sources also claim that as a quid pro quo for allowing more goods to pass into Northern Ireland without checks, the EU will demand more data from the UK to allow surveillance of products that may pass through the province into the EU single market.