By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
LONDON (Worthy News) – Britain’s prime minister and the European Union’s chief executive said Monday they had agreed on a UK-EU deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol to overcome significant trade and political tensions.
The protocol is crucial because it prevents a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – and any future Brexit agreements must do the same.
Brussels has strict rules about items such as certain foods coming into the bloc from non-EU countries and therefore has rigorous border checks.
Before Britain’s exit from the EU, known as “Brexit,” goods and people could pass between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland very quickly because they were both in the EU.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen seemed hopeful that Monday’s deal could prevent more British-EU wrangling.
Sunak said British tax changes could apply, pets would be allowed to be taken from Britain to Northern Ireland quicker, and the supply of medicines would be easier.
However, he admitted that EU legislation would have a role in Northern Ireland, although it is technically part of the United Kingdom, situated in the northeast of the island of Ireland.
That was expected to lead to tensions with more radical Brexit voices within his Conservative Party and other legislators.
Yet, Sunak stressed Parliament would get time to consider the deal before voting on it. “But ultimately, this is not about politicians or me, but about people in Northern Ireland,” he said.
Von der Leyen said the agreement protects the hard-earned peace arrangements following years of bloodshed over the territory and future of Northern Ireland.
She condemns the shooting of a Northern Irish police officer last week.
Northern Irish police detained three men concerning the attempted murder of a senior detective shot in front of his son in the town of Omagh last Wednesday, officials said.
They suspect the attack was carried out by the New IRA Irish nationalist militant group which opposes British rule over Northern Ireland.
Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell was in critical condition after being shot several times by two gunmen while putting footballs in his car after finishing a coaching session with an under-15 soccer team, authorities said.
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