According to the Associated Press, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that there are options in the Brexit agreement that the European Union may turn to to find a solution. These options include referring trade disputes to arbitration, which could lead to economic sanctions on Britain or punitive tariffs on imports from Britain.
The Northern Ireland Protocol was adopted to guarantee free trade between the Republic of Ireland (which remains a member of the European Union) and Northern Ireland (which is part of the United Kingdom).
Tensions in Northern Ireland have risen amid delays in implementing Brexit strategies.
“The EU’s first goal is to fully implement the Brexit plans, and the EU is determined to do everything possible to maintain peace and stability on the island of Ireland,” von der Leyen said. It is important that there is deep respect for this protocol and we maintain it.
Under an agreement known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, goods will not need to be examined along the Irish border once new relations between the UK and the European Union begin, following an agreement on selection from 1 January 2021.
After an 11-month transition period, Britain finally withdrew from the Customs Union and the European Single Market on January 1, 2021. But on March 16 last year, the European Union announced that it had begun legal action against Britain for failing to comply with the terms of the Brexit agreement.
The European Commission has announced that it has unilaterally postponed the start of some customs inspections in Northern Ireland, following two legal proceedings against Britain.
Brussels believes that Britain has thus violated the bilateral agreement to leave the European Union, which was signed in late 2019. The UK, however, has said it intends to delay the start of customs inspections in Northern Ireland to give companies more time to comply with new regulations in the post-selection period.
Britain and the European Union are now bordered by the Republic of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union, and an important part of the London-Brussels dispute was in the Brexit negotiations over the status of this common border.