The British government on Monday introduced a bill to Parliament on amendments to the post-Brexit rules that govern trade with Northern Ireland. The European Union says it will respond with all measures at its disposal if Britain pushes ahead with unilateral changes to the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland. It has said any changes would breach international law. Following the announcement, the EU warned that it could launch “infringement procedures” against the UK.
Earlier in the day, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said London wanted a “negotiated solution” to the issue with Brussels and denied that the move was illegal. The UK government had remained quiet about the details of its plan but said they will be “lawful and correct.” Johnson himself said the changes would help ease pro-British unionist concerns over the Brexit deal.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the UK to continue “good-faith negotiations” with the EU in a call with Liz Truss later on Monday, the US State Department said.
What changes have been mentioned?
The proposed changes include the setting up of a “green channel” for goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland that are destined to stay in the UK. Goods being sent further to the EU would be directed to a “red channel.” The UK government has promised penalties for those who try to abuse the system and take advantage of the EU’s single market from the UK. They are expected to eliminate European Union state aid rules on subsidies provided to businesses by public authorities in the province.
UK government ministers have also previously said that they wish to no longer allow the European Court of Justice to be the sole arbiter of any disputes, arguing that British courts should have some role.
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