Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has accused the British Government of bad faith as it seeks to renegotiate aspects of the Northern Ireland protocol.
London is expected to ask that European Court of Justice judges no longer have a role in overseeing the protocol - a demand Coveney described as something “that they know [the] EU can’t move on”.
In a post on twitter, the minister added: “Real Q [question]: Does UKG actually want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations?”
EU working seriously to resolve practical issues with implementation of Protocol - so UKG creates a new “red line” barrier to progress, that they know EU can’t move on…. are we surprised?
Real Q: Does UKG actually want an agreed way forward or a further breakdown in relations? https://t.co/4MhgEdlxAf
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) October 9, 2021
The EU is due to table proposals on Wednesday that aim to ease the number of checks carried out on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
At an event in Dublin earlier this week, European Commission Vice President Maros Šefčovič described his proposals as "very far reaching". The proposals would then be the basis for further negotiation with the British Government expected to start in late October or early November.
However, the proposals will not involve the removal of ECJ jurisdiction - something Šefčovič said would make the protocol unworkable:
"I find it hard to see how Northern Ireland would stay or would keep the access to the single market without oversight of the European Court of Justice."
On Tuesday, Britain’s Lord Frost will make a speech setting out his demands for the next set of negotiations. On the issue of the ECJ, he is expected to say:
"Without new arrangements in this area the protocol will never have the support it needs to survive.
"The role of the ECJ in Northern Ireland and the consequent inability of the UK government to implement the very sensitive arrangements in the protocol in a reasonable way has created a deep imbalance in the way the protocol operates."
Lord Frost has said that if its British demands are not met, then the Government might invoke Article 16 - a mechanism in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement that would allow it to suspend aspects of the Northern Ireland protocol.
Main image: Minister Simon Coveney answers questions on Brexit. Picture by: T Monasse/ANDBZ/ABACAPRESS.COM