Taoiseach Micheál Martin has firmly defended the European Union for its efforts in trying to offer flexibility in the ongoing Brexit negotiations surrounding the handling of goods with the UK.
While speaking at the annual Fianna Fáil commemoration of Wolfe Tone in Kildare, Martin described how the EU had offered a set of alternatives to the Northern Ireland protocol which he described as “generous and comprehensive”.
He added that the proposals were the basis for a “rapid conclusion to discussions” and that anyone “operating in good faith” would see this.
The EU has proposed an 80% reduction in identity checks for trucks arriving at ports as well as more intensive physical inspections on the goods being transported.
The proposals also include a 50% reduction in customs paperwork that’s required to export products to Northern Ireland.
Trusted trade arrangements would result in more companies and products being exempt from customs tariffs with a concept that differentiates between goods that are destined for Northern Ireland and goods that are subject to onward transportation to the Republic.
Martin described the attitude of allowing Brexit “to fade as a day-to-day political issue” as “reckless and destructive”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for progress to be made soon in the negotiations to find a solution to the Northern Ireland Protocol.
IMAGE – “File:Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach – 27 June 2020 (50051632532).jpg” by Houses of the Oireachtas from Ireland is licensed under CC BY 2.0/ “PM Boris Johnson speaking at the opening of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, 20 January 2020” by DFID – UK Department for International Development is licensed under CC BY 2.0