And Joachim Lang, Managing Director of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) suggested if no resolution was found, both sides facing spiralling
And Joachim Lang, Managing Director of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) suggested if no resolution was found, both sides facing spiralling tariffs and other unspecified countermeasures. Mr Lang was speaking after European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic outlined several key compromises, including an 80 percent reduction of checks and regulations applying to goods entering Northern Ireland.
Significant hurdles remain, given Mr Sefcovic also brushed aside calls by Brexit Minister Lord David Frost for the EU to remove the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in adjudicating in disputes over the Protocol, the mechanism previously agreed to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Mr Lang said: “Neither the British nor the EU are allowed to shake the treaty.
“Both sides must stand by their obligations without any ifs or buts.
“Stability is needed in the new partnership so that mutual investments will continue to be successful in the future.”
He added: “The British Government cannot refuse to act constructively in the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“Otherwise, everyone involved will have to fear tariff spirals and other countermeasures in trade policy.”
JUST IN: Ferret wars! Lord Frost demands EU climbdown
European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic on Thursday said discussions around the Northern Ireland Protocol will not be a renegotiation.
The UK Government welcomed Wednesday’s announcement of reduced checks, signalling it wants “intensive talks” to follow the EU’s proposals.
At the same time, however, a Government spokesman said there have to be “significant changes” to the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement if there is to be a “durable settlement”.
Lord Frost is expected in Brussels on Friday to meet Mr Sefcovic to discuss ways to break the deadlock.
Speaking after talks with Northern Ireland’s political leaders, Mr Sefcovic said he had no mandate to renegotiate the protocol.
He told the BBC: “Now we should really do the last mile, work constructively with all the proposals we put on the table, put it finally to bed.
“I believe that we could be in the home stretch with our proposals on the table and as I said, let’s try to solve all these issues before Christmas.
“Because I think that would be the best Christmas gift we can give to the people of Northern Ireland.”
However, he warned: “I have no mandate to renegotiate the protocol.
“The withdrawal agreement, protocol and trade and cooperation agreement, we signed it, we ratified it.
“It’s international law and I think we should respect it.”