TOP News

World: Fishing, Northern Ireland: EU, UK back to Brexit wrangling

Castex asks Europe to be "firmer" with the United Kingdom about the conflict on fishing

 Castex asks Europe to be © Copyright 2021, the Obs France has shown the tone on Tuesday, October 5 in the conflict with The United Kingdom on fishing. Prime Minister Jean Castex calls for the "firmer" support of Brussels and threatens to call into question bilateral cooperation with the United Kingdom.

BRUSSELS (AP) — It was late on Christmas Eve last year when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 file photo,the Union Flag and European Union flags flap in the wind prior a meeting between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at EU headquarters in Brussels. Across the English Channel, Brexit supporters in British politics and the media often depict a conniving EU, deeply hurt by the U.K.'s decision to leave, and doing its utmost to make Brexit less than a success by throwing up bureaucratic impediments. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 file photo,the Union Flag and European Union flags flap in the wind prior a meeting between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at EU headquarters in Brussels. Across the English Channel, Brexit supporters in British politics and the media often depict a conniving EU, deeply hurt by the U.K.'s decision to leave, and doing its utmost to make Brexit less than a success by throwing up bureaucratic impediments. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

There was hope that now-separated Britain and the 27-nation bloc would sail their relationship toward calmer waters.

Inside Boris Johnson's post-Brexit bubble, where he's king of his party but cut off from reality

  Inside Boris Johnson's post-Brexit bubble, where he's king of his party but cut off from reality Boris Johnson should be in trouble. There are very real challenges to everyday life unfolding all over Britain. © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images British Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak giving a speech at the Conservative party's conference in Manchester on October 4, 2021. Drivers have been lining up at gas stations hoping to fill their cars, something made difficult by widespread fuel shortages.

Don't even think about it.

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020 file photo, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, right, and European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier address a media conference on Brexit negotiations at EU headquarters in Brussels. It was late on Christmas Eve last year when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020 file photo, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, right, and European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier address a media conference on Brexit negotiations at EU headquarters in Brussels. It was late on Christmas Eve last year when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool, File)

Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again.

Brexit: France threatens to "reduce" electricity deliveries to Jersey

 Brexit: France threatens to © Stephen Darlington / Flickr Brexit: France threatens to "reduce" electricity deliveries to Jersey the French Secretary of State for Business Europeans still nuanced, admitting that the current would not be cut either. This is the first concrete retort track after ten days of iron arms. Paris has threatened Friday, October 8 to "reduce" its electricity deliveries to Jersey because of the post-Brexit crisis related to fishing.

“It was written in the stars from the start,” sighed Professor Hendrik Vos of Ghent University. "There were a lot of loose ends. Several issues that would invariably lead to problems, like fisheries and trade in Northern Ireland.”

FILE - In this Thursday, May 6, 2021 file photo, fishing vessels at sea off the coast of Jersey. This week France was rallying its EU partners for a joint stance and action if necessary if London wouldn't grant more licenses for small French fishing boats to roam close to the U.K. crown dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey that hug France's Normandy coast. (Oliver Pinel via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, May 6, 2021 file photo, fishing vessels at sea off the coast of Jersey. This week France was rallying its EU partners for a joint stance and action if necessary if London wouldn't grant more licenses for small French fishing boats to roam close to the U.K. crown dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey that hug France's Normandy coast. (Oliver Pinel via AP, File)

It was the economically minute but symbolically charged subject of fish that held up a trade deal to the last minute. And fishing is also providing a wedge of division now.

This week France was rallying its EU partners for a joint stance and action if necessary if London wouldn't grant more licenses for small French fishing boats to roam close to the U.K. crown dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey that hug France's Normandy coast.

'No requirement' for southern vote on Irish unity

  'No requirement' for southern vote on Irish unity The Republic of Ireland may not need to hold a referendum on unification, two legal experts say.Most media commentary on the subject assumes there has to be such a poll.

In France's parliament last week, Prime Minister Jean Castex accused Britain of reneging on its promise over fishing.

“We see in the clearest way possible that Great Britain does not respect its own signature,” he said, adding that “all we want is that a given word is respected.”

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a thumbs up gesture after signing the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement at 10 Downing Street, London. It was late on Christmas Eve last year when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a thumbs up gesture after signing the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement at 10 Downing Street, London. It was late on Christmas Eve last year when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP, File)

In a relationship where both sides often fall back on cliches about the other, Castex was harking back to the centuries-old French insult of “Perfidious Albion,” a nation that can never be trusted.

Will NI protocol talks lead to truce or trade war?

  Will NI protocol talks lead to truce or trade war? The EU is set to outline new proposals for the Northern Ireland Protocol, but tensions remain.It's not diplomats or politicians from any particular EU country who greet me like that these days. It's the reaction I get pretty much across the board.

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 28, 2021 file photo, an anti-Brexit protester holds a placard at the Houses of Parliament, in London. It was late on Christmas Eve in 2020 when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, April 28, 2021 file photo, an anti-Brexit protester holds a placard at the Houses of Parliament, in London. It was late on Christmas Eve in 2020 when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. Such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

His Europe Minister Clement Beaune added to this late Monday. “The European Union scrupulously implements the agreement it reached with the United Kingdom. We expect the same from Britain."

Across the English Channel, Brexit supporters in British politics and the media often depict a conniving EU, deeply hurt by the U.K.'s decision to leave, and doing its utmost to make Brexit less than a success by throwing up bureaucratic impediments.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 file photo, a woman walks past past graffiti with the words 'No Irish Sea Border' in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland. The schism of Brexit has crystalized in the worsening fight over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. to share a land border with an EU country. Under the most delicate and contentious part of the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland remains inside the EU's single market for trade in goods, in order to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 file photo, a woman walks past past graffiti with the words 'No Irish Sea Border' in Belfast city centre, Northern Ireland. The schism of Brexit has crystalized in the worsening fight over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. to share a land border with an EU country. Under the most delicate and contentious part of the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland remains inside the EU's single market for trade in goods, in order to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, File)

The schism has crystalized in the worsening fight over Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. to share a land border with an EU country. Under the most delicate and contentious part of the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland remains inside the EU's single market for trade in goods, in order to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland.

EU to unveil measures to ease British goods flow to N. Ireland

  EU to unveil measures to ease British goods flow to N. Ireland EU to unveil measures to ease British goods flow to N. IrelandBRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission will on Wednesday put to Britain a package of measures to ease the transit of goods to Northern Ireland, while stopping short of the overhaul London is demanding of post-Brexit trading rules for the province.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 file photo, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage waves the Union flag ahead of a vote on the UK's withdrawal from the EU during the plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels. Across the English Channel, Brexit supporters in British politics and the media often depict a conniving EU, deeply hurt by the U.K.'s decision to leave, and doing its utmost to make Brexit less than a success by throwing up bureaucratic impediments. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 file photo, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage waves the Union flag ahead of a vote on the UK's withdrawal from the EU during the plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels. Across the English Channel, Brexit supporters in British politics and the media often depict a conniving EU, deeply hurt by the U.K.'s decision to leave, and doing its utmost to make Brexit less than a success by throwing up bureaucratic impediments. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

That means customs and border checks must be conducted on some goods going to Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K., despite the fact they are part of the same country.

The regulations are intended to prevent goods from Britain entering the EU’s tariff-free single market while keeping an open border on the island of Ireland — a key pillar of Northern Ireland’s peace process.

The U.K. government soon complained the arrangements weren't working. It said the rules and restrictions impose burdensome red tape on businesses. Never short of a belligerent metaphor, 2021 has already brought a “sausage war,” with Britain asking the EU to drop a ban on processed British meat products such as sausages entering Northern Ireland.

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 file photo, lorries queue in Dover, England. It was late on Christmas Eve in 2020 when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. There was hope that now separated Britain and the 27-nation bloc would sail their relationship toward calmer waters. But, such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 file photo, lorries queue in Dover, England. It was late on Christmas Eve in 2020 when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. There was hope that now separated Britain and the 27-nation bloc would sail their relationship toward calmer waters. But, such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Northern Ireland's British Unionist community, meanwhile, say the Brexit deal undermines the peace process by weakening Northern Ireland’s ties with the rest of the U.K.

EU-UK talks, fishing threat kick Brexit back into high gear

  EU-UK talks, fishing threat kick Brexit back into high gear BRUSSELS (AP) — The Brexit brawl kicked into high gear Friday on sticking points over Northern Ireland and French fishing, coming almost a year after a deal on a free trade agreement was supposed to have officially sealed the separation between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The top Brexit negotiators from both sides entered talks again, with troublesome trade issues in Northern Ireland taking center stage. If they fail to find a common solution, the suspension of the trade deal and even retaliatory measures might be possible between the two. The EU is looking for a deal by Christmas. “Obviously, there is still quite a big gap.

Britain accuses the EU of being needlessly “purist” in implementing the agreement, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, and says it requires major changes to work.

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2019 file photo, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, speaks with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, left, during a meeting in Luxembourg. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has accused Britain of © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2019 file photo, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, speaks with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, left, during a meeting in Luxembourg. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has accused Britain of "shifting the playing field" and dismissing EU proposals without seeing them. "This is being seen across the European Union as the same pattern over and over again, the EU tries to solve problems, the U.K. dismisses the solutions before they are even published and asks for more," Coveney said. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

The bloc has agreed to look at changes, and is due to present proposals on Wednesday. Before that move, Britain raised the stakes again, demanding even more sweeping changes to the jointly negotiated deal.

In a speech in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, on Tuesday, U.K. Brexit minister David Frost will say the EU must also remove the European Court of Justice as the ultimate arbiter of disputes concerning trade in Northern Ireland.

FILE -In this Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 file photo, the Union flag is folded and removed after being lowered from outside of the European Parliament in Brussels. It was late on Christmas Eve 2020 when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. There was hope that now separated Britain and the 27-nation bloc would sail their relationship toward calmer waters. But, such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE -In this Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 file photo, the Union flag is folded and removed after being lowered from outside of the European Parliament in Brussels. It was late on Christmas Eve 2020 when the European Union and Britain finally clinched a Brexit trade deal after years of wrangling, threats and missed deadlines to seal their divorce. There was hope that now separated Britain and the 27-nation bloc would sail their relationship toward calmer waters. But, such was the bile and bad blood stirred up by the diplomatic brinkmanship and bitter divorce that, two months from another Christmas, insults of treachery and duplicitousness are flying again. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

That is a demand the EU is highly unlikely to agree to. The bloc's highest court is seen as the pinnacle of the free trade single market, and Brussels has vowed not to undermine its own order.

“No one should be in any doubt about the seriousness of the situation,” Frost will say in Lisbon, urging the EU to "show ambition and willingness to tackle the fundamental issues at the heart of the Protocol head on.”

Frost plans to say that if there is no resolution soon, the U.K. will invoke a clause that lets either side suspend the agreement in exceptional circumstances.

That would send already testy relations into a deep chill and could lead to a trade war between Britain and the bloc — one that would hurt the U.K. economy more than its much larger neighbor.

Some EU observers say Britain's demand to remove the court's oversight shows it isn't serious about making the Brexit deal work.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney accused Britain of “shifting the playing field” and dismissing EU proposals without seeing them.

“This is being seen across the European Union as the same pattern over and over again — the EU tries to solve problems, the U.K. dismisses the solutions before they’re even published and asks for more,” Coveney said.

___

Jill Lawless reported from London.

___

Follow AP's coverage of post-Brexit developments at https://apnews.com/hub/Brexit

UK and Irish leaders mark contentious N.Irish centenary .
Leaders from the UK and Ireland on Thursday marked the 100th anniversary of Northern Ireland, in a contentious service marking a fraught moment in history of the British-ruled province. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney and Northern Irish First Minister Paul Givan attended the church service at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Armagh. But the service at the Protestant cathedral was boycotted by Irish President Michael D. Higgins and Northern Ireland's deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill.

See also