The United Kingdom seems unilateral to push the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol aside. However, the British minister responsible for Brexit has an alternative plan to replace the protocol.
According to British newspapers, the government will decide by the end of next month. Then it is reported that the choice will also be made whether the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland will be unilaterally suspended.
Under the Brexit agreement, all goods transported from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must comply with European rules. They have to be checked for that in the ports of Northern Ireland. Those barriers were agreed to prevent a hard border from developing between British Northern Ireland and the EU member state Ireland. That could reignite tensions between pro-British Protestants and pro-Irish Catholics.
Brexit minister David Frost says he has drafted proposals to replace the protocol permanently and will say on Monday that “we cannot wait forever”. It has been known for some time that the British do not find the agreements in the Brexit agreement about Northern Ireland workable. Moreover, the European Union has previously indicated that it does not wish to renegotiate the issue with the British.
A transitional period has been agreed upon during which not all EU certificates are yet required. According to the EU, renegotiating the terms would lead to instability and uncertainty in the country.