The British government will unilaterally extend the current transitional period for Northern Ireland. That is what the British Brexit Administrator David Frost said. London wants to enable further negotiations with the European Union.
Under the Brexit agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union, all goods entering Northern Ireland must comply with European rules. This was agreed to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland. There was, however, a transitional period in which all goods traded from Great Britain to Northern Ireland were not yet required to have all the necessary papers such as health certificates.
That transitional period actually applied for three months, but in March the British extended it unilaterally. This was done again in June, but this time with the approval of the EU. However, talks between London and Brussels have still not yielded anything.
The British government wants the Northern Ireland protocol, as it is officially called, to be amended because it is unworkable. The EU believes that the British knew what they were signing up for and wants their concerns to be addressed in a different way. Frost was the chief negotiator on behalf of the British for the Brexit agreement. On the contrary, Prime Minister Boris Johnson chose to link only Northern Ireland to the EU conditions rather than the whole of the United Kingdom, as his predecessor Theresa May wanted.
“In order to allow for further negotiations with the EU, and also to provide security and stability for businesses, and that the discussions to walk, to go to the government of the North-Ierlandprotocol on a current basis, to continue,” said Frost, in a statement to the house of lords. The European Commission stated that it would not take legal action because of the extension.