CM – MEPs should seal the Brexit trade agreement after NI talks

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Sarah Collins

MPs are expected to approve the Brexit trade deal next week while condemning the UK’s « unilateral action » in Northern Ireland.

« We are now approaching the finish line of the ratification process, » the said German MEP David McAllister, the Brexit head of the European Parliament. « Challenges must be solved together within the framework of our new partnership. »

The German socialist MP Bernd Lange said that the negotiations between the EU and Great Britain on Northern Ireland were « on the right track » and a solution was « in sight ». « Ratification makes sense, » said Mr Lange in a tweet.

In a resolution to be adopted along with Parliament’s vote on the trade agreement, the European Parliament « condemns » the unilateral extension of the grace period for food and parcels and pets from the rest of the UK that the EU is bringing to Northern Ireland is in violation of the 2019 Brexit deal.

It urges the UK to « act in good faith » and urges the Commission to « press ahead with the infringement procedure launched last month against the UK ». MEPs also warn that the trade agreement allows either side to suspend market access if there is a « persistent » breach of their terms or against the 2019 exit deal.

They are « deeply concerned about the recent tensions in Northern Ireland » and insist on it that the EU is « determined to protect the Good Friday Agreement », the resolution states.

The EU and the UK will face another brink of Brexit at the end of April if the provisional application of the trade deal lasts December expires.

MEPs held back on ratification until there was a solution to the impasse in Northern Ireland, which seems more likely after talks between the EU and Britain’s Brexit envoys last week.

The EU envoy, Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, said this week that the EU would remain « vigilant but helpful » in Northern Ireland and hold another round of talks « soon ».

One of the options available is a veterinary treaty between the United Kingdom and the EU, bringing the UK into line with EU rules to avoid the introduction of additional customs controls in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Ab Orderly still angry about the downgrading of the status of the EU ambassador in London by Great Britain and called on the British government in their resolution to « take urgent action ».

They also criticized the treatment of the EU fishermen by the United Kingdom by accusing London of using « diversionary funds » to delay the introduction of catch restrictions for the year and make it difficult to obtain fishing licenses.

Last week, Parliament’s two leading Brexit committees signed the trade deal at 108 1 voices supported.

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