Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to abandon the agreements with the EU. They don’t work, he says. Brussels does not intend to bend and threatens with penalties. ‘It is worrying that the UK wants to take unilateral action.’
We have no choice, the British set a dramatic tone. Those words were in a statement released by the British government on Thursday. The Brexit deal is not working. The EU must move smoothly and accommodate the United Kingdom, otherwise the whole package of agreements will be pushed through the paper shredder.
This is what any government with a sense of responsibility would do.” But the European Union sees it very differently. He faces severe penalties if the agreements are not complied with.
Six years after the British voted in a referendum that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union, little progress has been made in the implementation of mutual agreements. The agreement never fully worked. Now British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to get rid of it again.
Unsolvable problem around Northern Ireland
The hot iron remains Northern Ireland, a part of the UK on the Irish island that otherwise belongs to the EU. This is exactly where the inhabitants have been arguing for years and days: roughly one half feels British, the other Irish. After a bloody period, there is now a shaky peace, but everything can always suddenly ignite again.
That small piece of the United Kingdom cannot participate in the European single market where the rest of the island does. Border posts are out of the question because of the tense atmosphere. It is an unsolvable issue where Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May also bit all her teeth.
Johnson made arrangements with Brussels on this. Now he says that its implementation is impossible. This week – there is talk of Monday-he wants to announce in a speech that the EU must come to the negotiating table again as far as he is concerned. His foreign minister, Liz Truss, wants to submit a law on Wednesday in which she pushes aside the existing agreements. The United Kingdom wants to officially stop customs controls in the Irish Sea, which lies between the English and the Irish island.
Formation of Belfast government
“It is worrying that the United Kingdom wants to take unilateral action,” said European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic. Sefcovic says that in that case Northern Ireland will no longer be part of the European Single Market at all and that sanctions may follow.
Johnson signed a so-called protocol two years ago that provided for border controls in the Irish Sea. The British-led Northern Ireland party DUP is strongly opposed to this. After the party won second place in the elections, it refuses to participate in a coalition. In Belfast, regional government formation is therefore at a standstill.
Without government, many important problems in Northern Ireland cannot be solved. This is becoming an ever-increasing problem. For example, health care in the region is not good.
But the question is whether Boris Johnson is really so concerned about the health of the Northern Irish and the flammable situation in Belfast, or whether he already wanted to get out of the brexit agreements. In the latter case, it probably suits him well that the EU currently prefers the whole of Europe, EU member or not, to show unity.