Trade deal with Britain fixes most important issues

Vivian Loonela.
Vivian Loonela. Source: ERR

The trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom that was signed on Monday makes it easier for goods to move to Northern Ireland and gives the Northern Ireland parliament more power to carry out the agreement, Vivian Loonela, head of the European Commission's representative office in Estonia, said.

Loonela said that the agreement corrects the most significant issues that have emerged in the previous two years.

"First, food and pharmaceutical products traveling from England, Scotland or Wales to Northern Ireland will be exempt from customs formalities and will be permitted to flow freely if they are not bound for the EU. The same applies to parcels. With regard to the implementation of the agreement, the Northern Ireland Parliament will be given more rights," she said.

Loonela said that every precaution has been taken against smuggling and the shadow economy.

"We are working on it right now. It was agreed that these products should be labeled separately. The European Union will have access to British bilateral trade information systems," she said.

Loonela noted that the conclusion of the agreement means that the European Union can now prioritize its relations with the UK on what matters most: security and tackling climate change.

After several years of dispute, the European Union and Britain revealed a new trade agreement on Monday. The agreement focuses primarily on the transit of goods through Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland retains access to the single market of the European Union. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak referred to it as a crucial breakthrough and a new chapter in relations with the European Union.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Kristina Kersa

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