EU makes itself world laughing stock over claims N.I. goods threaten “integrity of Single Market”
N.I.’s exports over the border are only 1/500th of total entering EU Single Market
EU Single Market threatened by NI’s minuscule cross-border trade? Ridiculous
It is now five days since the EU Commission rejected the UK Government’s ‘Command Paper’ which proposed solutions to the developing crisis caused by the EU’s Northern Ireland Protocol. The EU could not have been clearer: "We will not agree to a renegotiation of the Protocol."
The EU Commission said “Joint action in the joint bodies established by the Withdrawal Agreement will be of paramount importance over the coming months.” As with everything it does, the Commission seems to think that it can carry on with ‘negotiations’ for months. This is not the case. The situation is already very serious in Northern Ireland and yet even more EU rules are set to be imposed in September, making things very much worse.
Action is required now, not “over the coming months”.
EU says it must “protect the integrity of the Single Market” – Seriously?
For over five years Facts4EU.Org has researched and produced definitive reports showing that the EU’s stance on Northern Ireland has been nothing more than a sham. One of the many statistics we have provided is shown below.
Politicians and media commentators are currently referring to the fact that “only 0.5% of EU trade is with Northern Ireland”. This is bad enough, but it is not the relevant statistic. If the EU is claiming that the integrity of its Single Market is under threat from N.I. goods crossing the border with the Republic, the key metric is the percentage that these imported goods represent, compared with all goods entering the EU.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
The equivalent of 499 non-EU trucks enter the EU's Single Market
for every one truck from Northern Ireland crossing the Irish border
(Figures are the latest available, for the pre-Covid year of 2019)
- EU's total imports from non-EU countries: £1,707,605 million
- Republic of Ireland's imports from N.I.: £4,501 million
- Percentage of imports into EU Single Market across border with Republic of Ireland: 0.21%
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org
Statistical note: Data for Northern Ireland's goods exports crossing the border to the Republic come from NISRA - the official Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Data for total EU imports into its Single Market come from the EU Commission's official agency Eurostat, converted into pounds at the then exchange rate. All figures are for 2019, the latest available from NISRA.
EU is ready to go to war over what amounts to a rounding error in its accounts
The EU has already started legal action against the UK over the Northern Ireland Protocol, despite the EU Commission having invoked Article 16 itself in January, before a public outcry forced it to recant.
0.2% of imports in any national or international table of statistics amounts to no more than a rounding or margin error. In almost all countries around the world, the EU Commission’s bureaucrats would be laughed out of the negotiating room for suggesting that its enormous Single Market is in any way threatened by a minuscule amount of cross-border traffic from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.
Consent isn’t a word readily understood in dictatorial Brussels
Despite the absurdity of its position as demonstrated by the hard numbers, the EU seems perfectly happy to jeopardise the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland and to deny democratic consent to the people living there. Consent of all the communities in Northern Ireland was absolutely paramount in the negotiation of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. It was a pivotal issue, yet the ideological EU has been happy to ride roughshod over it in order to punish the United Kingdom for voting to leave its empire.
Hundreds of new EU laws are being made which apply to Northern Ireland, yet neither Northern Ireland citizens, nor the Northern Ireland Assembly, nor the UK Government have any say over them whatsoever.
The EU created this mess, the United Kingdom will now have to clear it up
In proferring the Command Paper entitled “Northern Ireland Protocol: the way forward” the UK Government made what many would see as a very generous offer to the EU. Instead of simply invoking Article 16 as it has the right to do, the Government has made a final effort to negotiate alterations to the Protocol to make it work in the real world.
Even this, however, is not enough for the autocratic ideologues in Brussels. Now that they have declared emphatically that the Protocol cannot be renegotiated – despite the Protocol itself saying that it can – the Government must act.
With half of the EU Commission already having packed their bags for the long summer holiday, we suggest that the UK Government must respond this week with an ultimatum to the EU Commission.
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[ Sources: EU Commission | NISRA | HMRC ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Mon 26 Jul 2021
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