The European Union has withdrawn personnel carrying out checks between the Northern Ireland border and the rest of the United Kingdom due to ongoing harassment.
Previously, the Northern Ireland authorities already decided to withdraw border controllers, thereby partially eliminating the flow of goods between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland at least in the ports of Belfast and Larne.
Recently, the auditors reported suspicious behavior. For example, registration plates were recorded, port workers were threatened, according to a local mayor, “worrying graffiti” had been sprayed on the walls and tensions in communities are increasing.
The actions have been condemned from both the EU, the UK and Ireland. Its not clear whos behind the harassment.
The controls were agreed in the trade agreement on Brexit between the EU and the UK. By checking products at the border between Northern Ireland and the UK, there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which is part of the EU.
The open border was one of the most important agreements in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which concluded decades of violence in the region.
Pro-British unionists have been annoying the deal in Northern Ireland for a long time because they believe that the EU is driving a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Furthermore, the controls lead to delays.
According to the British Cabinet Minister Gove, there are serious problems around Brexit agreements across the Northern Ireland border. He wants to quickly join the EU to come up with solutions.
the same time, he wants to extend the period during which all EU rules are not yet checked at the Northern Ireland border.
The fragility of the situation in Northern Ireland was revealed last week when the EU announced its intention to monitor the export of vaccines to non-EU countries more strictly.
Initially, that measure also applied to Northern Ireland. This was immediately criticized from London, Belfast and Dublin, because it would still have controls at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The EU then deleted the plan, but according to Minister Gove, “trust has been commanded.