We will react! German MEP threatens Britain with resolute retaliation over NI Protocol

German MEP warns of ‘firm swift and resolute retaliation’

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The Chair of the European Parliament’s UK Coordination Group David McAllister told Euronews the European Union does not want conflict with the UK over the Northern Ireland Protocol. But he issues a severe warning that the bloc will issue a “resolute reaction” if the UK “continues” to take unilateral measures without consulting the European Commission over the post-Brexit saga.

Mr McAllister warned Britain that the European Union will not hesitate to react.

In a stern statement to the British Government, he said he understood the difficulties but said proper discussions need to take place.

He said: “We understand the difficulties in Northern Ireland.

“We are ready to be flexible.”

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He added: “But if the UK side continues a policy of taking unilateral measures without discussing this with the European Commission and also the Republic [of Ireland].

“Then there will have to be a firm, swift but also resolute reaction coming from the European Union!” 

While German MEP Bernd Lange told Euronews the damage of the Protocol is worse for the UK than it is for the EU.

He slammed: “The export/import figures are clear, the financial damage is clear.

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“Even in the financial services, a key economic instrument and a key economic interest in Britain has some damages.

“So I think it is crystal clear where the real damage is.”

The comments come as the UK and European officials are increasingly confident they will avert a post-Brexit sausage war with a truce in the row over trade checks for Northern Ireland.

EU diplomats are set to meet next week to discuss a UK request to push back the bloc’s ban on chilled meats entering the region.

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The current grace period from the Brussels red tape is set to expire at the end of the month, leaving both sides with little time to broker an agreement.

The Prime Minister has vowed to scrap the trade rules associated with the Northern Ireland Protocol to protect the region’s place within the UK unless a deal is done.

Brussels fired back with threats of tariffs and quotas on British goods if Downing Street moves unilaterally in the process.

Whitehall officials fear the EU’s hardline interpretation of the protocol to avoid a hard border risks sparking violence and instability in Northern Ireland.

 

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