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Friday, March 31, 2023

German Minister Requests to Resolve Northern Ireland Protocol’s Impasse

Foreign minister Baerbock calls for ‘reasonable and pragmatic’ solution to long-running dispute

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GERMANY: The German foreign minister made this statement before talks with James Cleverly, the UK’s foreign secretary, in London.

He claimed disagreements over how the Northern Ireland protocol should be implemented had turned into the EU’s Achilles heel in its relations with the UK.

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While Annalena Baerbock was scheduled to meet with Cleverly on Thursday to discuss support for Ukraine and the UK’s ties with Germany, she made a plea to resolve the protocol’s impasse.

“It is critical that we find a responsible and pragmatic solution for Northern Ireland based on existing agreements. It is the only way we will realize the full potential of our partnership,” she stressed

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Concerning the disagreement that has soured relations with the EU and, to a lesser extent, the US since Brexit, Baerbock’s comments demonstrate that Europe is eager to put the new government of Rishi Sunak to the test.

They also highlight how Northern Ireland’s response to the post-Brexit trade agreement impedes progress on other topics, such as the Erasmus program and broader political collaboration.

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Germany is eager to strengthen bilateral ties with the UK as it observes a sharp loss in the daily interaction between the two countries, exemplified by the decrease in German language instruction at educational institutions.

Baerbock wouldn’t participate in the protocol’s future in-depth negotiations, which the European Commission would handle, but Germany can undoubtedly set the tone.

Although the ethical foreign policy of the German Greens may appear to diverge significantly from that of the UK Conservative party, relations between Baerbock, a fervent advocate of arming Ukraine, and the UK government are generally positive.

To convince Vladimir Putin that “his brutal war of aggression is doomed to fail,” she stated before the visit that she planned to discuss further British sanctions on Russia, military deliveries to Ukraine, and winter relief.

The extent to which the European Court of Justice has authority over the agreement, particularly the enforcement in Northern Ireland of EU laws for goods VAT and subsidy control, is one of the most challenging concerns.

However, EU capitals assert they cannot permit an unguarded border between the EU single market and a third country like the UK. The EU has already committed to cutting border checks on products between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Before the commencement of the Northern Ireland Assembly election campaign, there was pressure to achieve a new agreement. Germany, however, sees no evidence that the British government has been attempting to compel the unionists into a compromise along this kind of timeline.

Also Read: Meta Dealt Blow by EU Ruling That Could Result in Data Use ‘opt-in’

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