In a new Brexit proposal, the UK proposes to introduce new Irish maritime border controls on food in four stages from October. All details can be found in a roadmap in a Northern Ireland Protocol shared with the EU. The protocol is part of the Brexit deal that creates a trade border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In March, the UK delayed the introduction of some new border processes without EU consent. As a result, the EU started legal proceedings against the UK. The UK has sent the roadmap to the EU, which sets out how both parties should work together to implement the protocol. The plan forms the basis for the ongoing technical discussions between officials.
This weekend, the UK’s chief negotiator, Lord Frost, urged the EU to quickly “find a new approach and new solutions”. The UK roadmap covers more than 20 separate issues, including medicines, access to databases, pet travel and the VAT treatment of second-hand cars.
If the UK scheme for the shipment of retail goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is introduced gradually in the course of 2021 and 2022 (and possibly 2023), the UK is likely to have to ask the EU again for an extension of the grace period before full compliance with European laws, which will not be good in Brussels.
The BBC reports that the movement of food from Great Britain to Northern Ireland has been the greatest practical challenge of the sea border. Northern Ireland has remained part of the EU’s internal market for goods, while the rest of the UK has left that market. This means that food entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain must be professionally certified and subjected to new controls in ports.