EU Rules Out Concessions to U.K. Over Court’s N. Ireland Role
(Bloomberg) -- The European Union categorically rejected U.K. demands that it reconsider the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing the Northern Ireland protocol.
As the two sides face a new round of talks on Friday over how to tackle problems with the protocol, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the court’s involvement is not up for negotiation.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television, von der Leyen said the situation is “very clear.” The protocol is part of European law, she added, “there’s one institution that is ruling on European law and it is the European Court of Justice”.
Von der Leyen said the EU has already shown “as much as possible flexibility within the protocol” to address the U.K.’s concerns about how the arrangement it disrupting the flow of goods into the province. The commission this month put forward a series of proposals that would slash the number of checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.
The role of the top EU court is likely to prove a sticking point when the two sides’ top negotiators meet in London to try and bridge their differences. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who signed up to the protocol in 2019, has insisted that the EU judges must be removed from the equation before there can be an agreement.
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