I think that this means that there will be a harder border in the Irish sea then UK government original expected?
Well, since the ROI is not producing vaccines, all Irish jabs needs to be sent over from the EU by registered shipments.
If the EU sees there's vaccine smuggling happening to NI -and much more worrying- further down to the rest of GB, it will clealy not hesitate to use the powers it has unter the NI protocol. Remember there's a EU custom agency set up in Belfast which oversees all trade flows from NI to GB and vv.
The British government has gone to great lengths to make this as low profile as possible, even renting the office space for the EU custom agency itself so they could remain largely unnoticed after M. Gove had repeatedly stated there would never ever be an EU custom office in the UK... (that didn't age well now, did it?)
Nevertheless the EU does hold swiping powers to hold full blown intra-british custom checks down the Irish sea , so the soft touch, low key approach initially envisaged can be unilaterally tuned up should the EU suspect its rules on vaccine export are being undercut via an open back door in Northern Ireland, as referenced also to by the President of the Commission in her remarks and clearly evidenced by the unhesitating outright superpower display in the vaccine discussion with AZ and the UK of this week.
It's the same old story all over again: if there's no visible border across the island itself, there's bound to be one down the Irish Sea (should the need arise)
That was clear yesterday evening already, which is why the solution found so quickly is -not surprisingly- very satisfactory to the ROI, but less so to the UK.
And so NI is as from this weekend, yet a little bit more cut of from the UK. It's getting an even mor unique status by the day: it's almost a condominion these days, it seems.
Last edited by sabenapilot
on Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.