Brexit: Maros Sefcovic says UK needs to ‘dial down rhetoric’
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European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic argued Britain needed to dial down its frustrations directed at the EU. While speaking to Euronews, Mr Sefcovic insisted the UK could ensure smooth checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if it fulfilled its role properly. He insisted implementing the Northern Ireland protocol required action from both the UK and the EU and he said the EU was willing to do its part.
Mr Sefcovic said: “I think that what is very important is toning down, dial down the rhetoric.
“I think we really need to create a conducive atmosphere for the implementation of the protocol as we did in December.
“We also had very difficult situations where we had many stories of old issues.”
Mr Sefcovic insisted the UK was not upholding its part of the deal and was contributing to long checks at the border.
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He continued: “The implementation of the protocol is a two-way street.
“We are ready to do our part but we also need to see the UK fulfilling their commitments.
“I am coming back to the border crossings, the IT access, to all the facilitations.
“This is to ensure that the shelves in Northern Irish supermarkets are full.
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“We all agreed upon all of this on the 17th of November.”
Mr Sefcovic also reflected on the EU’s threat to trigger Article 16 over a coronavirus vaccine row and admitted it was a mistake.
In a committee meeting on Tuesday, he said: “I think I have to repeat it again, that no decision was taken.
“No Article 16 was activated, that it was a draft proposal, which was then quickly corrected and I think that it would be better not to engage anymore in the blame game.
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“Where I think, we should acknowledge the mistake was made, we apologised for that.
“And I think that now it’s very important to really look into the future.
“How can we constructively work together to make sure that we will guarantee the people of Ireland and Northern Ireland, all the benefits of the Protocol.
“And all the possibilities which the protocol is presenting for new business opportunities for new jobs and I believe also economic growth.”
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