Turning the European Court of Justice into a Brexit “bogeyman” threatens Northern Ireland’s place in the EU’s single market for goods, and removing it from the protocol treaty is “an impossibility”, according to leading figures of the EU.
European Commissioner for Financial Services Mairead McGuinness and EU Ambassador to the UK João Vale de Almeida on Thursday rejected British demands that the role of the EU Court of Justice be eliminated. Treaty 2019, which created a regulatory border for goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.
The agreement, opposed by British unionists in the region, maintains the land border with the Republic of Ireland. without barriers and unleashes Northern Ireland businesses to continue trading with the EU27.
In London, the ambassador told the evening standard that the anti-ECJ demands of UK Brexit chief David Frost could, if pursued to their logical end, lead to the involuntary expulsion of Northern Ireland from free access to the world’s largest trading bloc. Most voters in Northern Ireland rejected Brexit and its business leaders solidly behind access to the single market.
Vale de Almeida said that trying to disconnect the jurisdiction of the court from the EU single market “was not even a red line, it is impossible.”
“If you want to have access, as Northern Ireland does, to the single market for goods, you have to follow the rules,” he said. “Any conflict that exists in the single market can reach the Court of Justice of the European Communities … One goes with the other.”
Irish European Commission member McGuinness said she was not surprised to hear Frost lift the UK’s anti-ECJ rhetoric to the top of her list of lawsuits last week, but called it a fabricated problem designed to hinder the practical progress. .
“It is in Northern Ireland’s interest that its place in the single market is protected by the ECJ,” said McGuinness. he told radio RTÉ in Dublin. “For whatever reason, it is suggested that the Court of Justice be the bogeyman. But the ECJ is the protector of the single market to which Northern Ireland would have unique and privileged access, and it needs to be able to use that access. “
He said it made no sense, even from the UK’s perspective, to seek “a compromise” with the Court of Justice when the Luxembourg court was there to protect Northern Ireland’s free trade with Europe, not to stop it.
“Lord Frost makes all kinds of comments,” McGuinness said. “But the UK, when you think about it fully, you will see that this is not an imposition of UK law. It is a protection for the single market to which a part of the United Kingdom has access ”.
She said the challenge for the UK government was to get rid of the demands that only worsen tensions and instead “find a solution or a way of thinking that doesn’t address it.” [the ECJ] as ‘a burden’ “.
McGuinness said the dispute over the protocol has dragged on for too long because British authorities “simply did not implement it” fully in Northern Ireland ports and have since “tried to resist some of those commitments” and undermined trust across Europe. .
“There are those who will find problems in every solution,” said McGuinness, who is 62. “We will probably deal with Brexit for the rest of my days.”