A BREXIT spat broke out last night, after the EU stated it would push ahead with a solution that the UK had downplayed earlier in the summer in order to settle a tense border dispute.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the European Commission is currently developing a plan to ensure that there will be a long-term supply from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. Despite objections from the UK Government, Eurocrats are currently working on a legislative proposal that the European Council and EU Parliament will consider.
This plan would include regulatory compliance functions such as quality control tests for medicines only destined for Northern Ireland. These tests will be permanent in the UK. Instead of companies being required to set up these procedures within the EU or Northern Ireland after existing grace periods expire, this would be an alternative.
Brussels insists that the UK Government will have to set up specific safeguards to prevent these products from entering the EU’s internal markets from Northern Ireland. The UK ministers will also need to apply the EU medicines legislation regarding quality, safety, batch testing, release, and other aspects of medicine when they approve goods for Northern Ireland.
Last night, the Commission stated that the solution proposed would be “based on a clear commitment by the UK to place the safeguards.” According to a source in Brussels, the legislative proposal would be presented to the Council and Parliament prior the Autumn. If there is no resolution soon, the drug makers could be forced to withdraw as much as 90 percent of their drugs from the region.
In the Express a Whitehall source familiar with the ongoing negotiations around the Protocol stated that the request to align with EU rules for medicine was “absurd”.
“The EU’s System would be a bureaucratic nightmare to run. “
“We have already made clear to them the proposal will not work, it seems they are just pressing ahead with their own agenda. “
After ministers announced plans for delaying checks on goods entering the UK from Northern Ireland, the UK’s strict approach to medicines is set to take effect as negotiations to renegotiate Protocol begin.
Officials from the UK and EU are currently holding technical talks that include medicine to try to end the deadlock. However, the UK Government wants to respond to Lord Frost’s command papers on post-Brexit trade arrangements.
Lord Frost demanded that significant changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol be made. This is an element of the deal he negotiated. He stated, “We cannot go on as we are. “
A spokesperson for the UK Government stated that there would be delays in checking until 2022.
A spokesperson said: “While those discussions with the EU are ongoing the current arrangements for unfettered access – which ensure no processes for goods moving from Northern Ireland to GB – will be maintained and no changes will be introduced during 2021.”
“We will keep this under review and give traders plenty of notice if anything changes. “