EU negotiator Rejects British proposal Customs Union. EU negotiator Michel Barnier refused the British Government’s proposal to remain in the customs union with the EU in 2021 to maintain free movement of goods between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Barnier said that after a week of negotiations, Barnier negotiated in Brussels. He rejects it because the British would still enjoy “the lust but not the burden” of the EU after the Brexit, reports EYE News.
Barnier pointed out that the EU demands a permanent solution to the border issue.
The EU wants the guarantee that in the future “under all circumstances” goods without controls from Ireland (EU) to British Northern Ireland and vice versa.
On Wednesday, London offered a compromise proposal by allowing the whole of the United Kingdom to remain “temporarily” until December 2021 in the customs union if no solution to the sensitive issue decided yet.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Friday of Barnier’s statements that a border with customs controls between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom is entirely unacceptable to the British. That position will never change, according to a May spokesperson.
In 1998 heavily guarded border was abolished as part of the peace agreement that put an end to the decades-long, often strong tensions between Catholics and Protestants on the island. There is a fear that they will flare up again with the reintroduction of a border.
The British leave the union on 30 March 2019. “They wanted that themselves, and we respect that”, says Barnier.
He pointed out that in March, the other 27 EU leaders had kindly agreed to the British request for a transitional period up to and including 31 December 2020. After that, Great Britain also no longer pays for EU budgets.
At the end of June, European Leaders will meet for the semi-annual summit. May will present its new Brexit plans in the coming weeks.