AGAIN AND AGAIN: For Michel Barnier, as for Jean-Claude Juncker, on the question of Northern Ireland, there is still a lot of work “to achieve the three objectives of the safety net: the absence of borders, the protection of the Irish economy and the protection of the single market “
The “compromise” proposed by Boris Johnson on Brexit, particularly on the sensitive issue of the Irish border, did not convince the Europeans who will now have to decide whether to start discussions on this basis in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit “on October 31st. The compromise was not rejected, but it contains “some problematic points” for the large single market, one of the red lines of Europeans. The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has indeed expressed his concerns to the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson during a telephone interview.
Let’s get Brexit done.
Let’s unite our country.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 2, 2019
Advances, however, “positive” for Juncker
“The President has acknowledged positive progress, particularly with regard to the complete alignment of regulations for all goods and the control of goods coming from Great Britain entering Northern Ireland,” his services said. But he also “noted that there are still some problematic issues that will require additional work in the coming days, especially with regard to backstop governance (the safety net for Ireland)”. “We must have a legally-operational solution that meets all the objectives of the safety net: to prevent a hard border, preserve North-South cooperation and the island economy, and protect the EU’s single market and its place. of Ireland in this one, “explained Jean-Claude Juncker to Boris Johnson.
Even on the side of the EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, who negotiated for almost two years the divorce agreement, rejected three times by the British Parliament. “There is progress, but to be honest there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve the three goals of the safety net: the absence of borders, the protection of the Irish economy and the protection of the single market, that is, to protect consumers, citizens and businesses in the single market, “he said before a meeting with the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, whose prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker wants to “listen to the point of view,” was the first to be concerned by this question, saying the London offer did not “completely” fulfil the objectives. “We do not think it’s really the guarantees Ireland needs,” said former Belgian Liberal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s negotiator on divorce with the EU.
The #Brexit Steering group at the @Europarl_EN is absolutely not postive about PM Johnson’s proposals. It doesn’t provide the necessary safeguards for Ireland. Full written statement tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/vvl1WcMequ
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) October 2, 2019
The British propose a four-year renewable arrangement
The plan submitted by Boris Johnson provides that Northern Ireland will remain in the single European market for goods, including agri-food products, with the creation of a “regulatory area” on the island for a renewable four-year period. This would eliminate all regulatory controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland but this implies divergent regulations between the British province and the rest of the Kingdom. “The fact that the arrangement is submitted every four years to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive, which potentially means questioning every four years, is hardly acceptable to Europeans”, said Eric Maurice, an analyst at the Robert Schuman Foundation, a European think tank.