Britain’s Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss attends the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Summit in Weissenhaeuser Strand, Germany May 12, 2022. Marcus Brandt/Pool via REUTERS

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LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) – Britain on Tuesday introduced a bill to unilaterally scrap some post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, risking a diplomatic crisis and the threat of a trade war with the UK. ‘European Union. Read more

The two sides have been trying for months to break a stalemate over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which sets out trade rules for the British-ruled region that London agreed before leaving the EU but now says unachievable.

Here are some of the changes Britain plans to include in the legislation:

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When Britain left the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to a deal that effectively left Northern Ireland in the bloc’s customs union due to its open border with member Ireland. EU, creating a customs border with Great Britain.

Britain now wants to reduce the number of checks on goods traveling from Britain to Northern Ireland.

The government is proposing to set up a “green lane” for vehicles carrying goods only intended to go from Britain to Northern Ireland. This will involve trusted operator programs and real-time data sharing with the EU.

A separate “red lane” with full checks will be created for goods that may end up in Ireland and the EU.

This is designed to reduce the paperwork faced by businesses who have said they will not be able to supply a full range of products to Northern Ireland because the number of checks is too onerous.

The government has said businesses will choose between meeting UK or EU standards in a new dual regulatory regime.

Tougher penalties will be imposed on any company that does not comply with the new trading system.


In March, UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to reduce value added tax when installing solar panels, insulation and heat pumps.

But the government has been unable to apply this policy to Northern Ireland because the protocol means that all goods in Northern Ireland must follow EU VAT rules.

The government wants to scrap the rule, saying the British-ruled province is being treated unfairly and should be eligible for government aid.


Britain wants to end the role of the European Court of Justice as the sole arbiter of disputes with the EU over the operation of the protocol.

“Our solution is to have an arbitration mechanism in place…rather than having the ECJ as the final arbiter,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told parliament.

More details will be released in the coming weeks on how it might work, a government official said.

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Reporting by Andrew MacAskill, editing by William James and Barbara Lewis

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